An American woman who refused her former lesbian partner access to their child has been ordered to appear before court within 30 days.
Lisa Miller, of Virginia, disappeared with seven-year-old Isabella in late December after a judge ordered her to hand over custody to Janet Jenkins on January 1st.
Last week, Rutland Judge William Cohen found Miller in contempt of court. He would not issue a warrant for her arrest, as requested by Jenkins.
According to the Rutland Herald, he said: “I’m going to give [Miller] 30 days to appear in court with the child. I don’t believe issuing an arrest warrant without giving Ms Miller an opportunity to come to the court on her own would be in the child’s best interest.”
Of the February 23rd cut-off date, he said: “At that point, I will consider all possible sanctions under the law. But first, I will give Ms Miller an opportunity to comply.”
Isabella was born to Miller and Jenkins in 2002, two years after they had a civil union ceremony in Vermont. Miller is her biological mother.
But the couple split up in 2003 when Miller became an evangelical Christian and renounced homosexuality. She then moved to Virginia.
Their civil union was dissolved in 2007 and Miller was granted custody of Isabella with Jenkins allowed liberal visiting rights.
Jenkins launched legal proceedings when Miller failed to allow her access. In November, a judge ruled that the only fair way to proceed was to hand over custody to Jenkins.
Miller is being represented by the anti-gay Liberty Counsel.