Friday, February 26, 2010

Dad with previous protective order against him strips grandmother of custody with judge's help; now boy has "disappeared" (Paulding County, Georgia)

What's with the idiotic judge in Carroll County, Georgia?

There's a frustrating lack of detail in this article, but this is an outline of the events:

July 2009: The mother of the now missing 7-year-old boy receives a "temporary protective order" against her son's father, WILLIAM HOOVER. Presumably there is a credible threat and/or history of domestic violence.

September 2009: The mother dies. Whether this was of natural causes or otherwise is not mentioned or explained. Before the mother dies she asks her mother, the boy's grandmother, to assume care of the child.

September 10, 2009: The grandmother is granted custody of the boy.

January 15, 2010: After having no contact with the boy since the previous July, Dad shows up at the grandmother's house WITH THE SHERIFF DEPUTIES. The deputies demanded to know if the boy was there, and when the grandmother answered in the affirmative, demanded that she "get his clothes." The deputies take the boy and return him to his father. It appears that a judge in Carroll County, Georgia had granted the father custody. Judge later claims the father "lied to him during the custody hearing."

February 12, 2010: Grandmother and her attorney go before the same Carroll County judge and ask for motion to set aside judgement. After hearing the grandmother's testimony, the court sets aside the previous order granting custody to the father. Now the judge decides (belatedly) that he was lied to. The grandmother is reinstated as the custodial guardian, and the father was ordered to return the child to his grandmother.

Only one problem. Nobody has seen the dad or the son since January 15. Given the father's presumed history of domestic violence against the mother and that the father is known to "carry guns," the grandmother is very concerned about the boy's safety.

I certainly hope that the boy is still alive and well, and that he is returned to his grandmother soon. However, I have to question what the hell this judge was thinking in granting this father custody in what appears to have been an ex parte hearing without bothering to find out the facts. But of course, part of being a judge is never having to be accountable for your actions, stupidity, or incompetence.

Grandmother Worries About Missing Boy's Safety
Updated 2/25/2010 10:39:32 PM
Kevin Rowson

PAULDING COUNTY, GA -- The Paulding County Sheriff's Office is stepping up efforts to find a 7-year old boy who is missing and may be in danger. He's with his father but he's not supposed to be. He's supposed to be living with his grandmother.

Julia Jeorge said her grandson Josh Hoover needs to be in school. She said the boy has had a disruptive life. His mother died this past September. Before she died, she asked George to take care of her son. On September 10th Jeorge was given custody of Josh.

Jeorge says the boy's father, William Hoover, hasn't been a part of his son's life since last July when Josh's mother got a temporary protective order against him. But William Hoover came back into Josh's life on January 15th. That's when sheriff deputies knocked on Jeorge's door. "They asked if Joshua is there and I said yes, and they said get his clothes," Jeorge said.

William Hoover, who lived with his mother in Temple, went to a Carroll County Judge and was granted custody of Josh. Deputies took the boy and returned him to his father. Paulding County investigators said the 7-year old boy was last seen January 17th leaving the Temple home.

Jeorge said she hasn't heard from Josh or his father since. She believes William Hoover is preventing her grandson from calling her.

On February 12th Jeorge's attorney went back to the Judge in Carroll County who granted custody to Hoover, and asked for a motion to set aside judgement. The Judge determined that William Hoover lied to him during the custody hearing. "If he was irrational enough to do that, I can't say what else he would do," said Jeorge.

"When the court heard Ms. Jeorge's testimony, the court set aside that order and set aside Hoover's custody," said Jeorge's attorney Michael Manely. Julia Jeorge was granted custody and Hoover was ordered to return the boy.

The Paulding County Sheriff's Office declared Josh Hoover a missing and endangered child. They said his father is known to carry guns and may be dangerous. Jeorge said she's worried about her grandson's safety. "I'm worried that he's frightened, that he's not going to school and he's not getting the care he needs," she said.

The Paulding County Sheriff's Office is conducting a nationwide search for Josh Hoover. Anyone who knows where he is should call the Sheriff's Office at 770-443-3010. Anyone who sees Josh or his father should call 911.