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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28062
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Can my daughters mother in law keep her children from her

Customer Question

can my daughters mother in law keep her children from her before she has been served with court papers?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

No, she can't. Unless she got an emergency temporary order, filing for custody does not give her any legal rights. If she has an emergency order, then she needs to serve it on your daughter. But without that, your daughter should be able to call the police and have them go with her to pick up her children. A grandparent has no legal right to keep a child from a parent without a court order. It's actually a felony to keep a child from the person with lawful custody. RCW 9A.40.060. Unless the father has custody right now and has authorized his mother to keep the children, the mother-in-law could be charged with a crime.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Did you have any other questions about this?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
We are way past that point now. The mother in law texted my daughter 2 hours before court to tell her to be there. She went to try to get the kids but wasn't able to so she was served at the courthouse.
Now the question is can they use incriminating Facebook messages that they hacked her account to get? Other than that it is she said she said. Even the judge said she would error on the side of caution and give temporary custody to mother in law but she was hesitant because the kids will just be moved again when their mother gets them back.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear that things have gotten worse.

She can object to any illegally obtained documents being used as evidence against her. They COULD use Facebook messages that she sent to either of them, but the judge shouldn't listen to any evidence that the mother-in-law committed a crime to get.

And your daughter can also press charges for breaking into her account without her permission.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

The mother-in-law seems to think that the ends justify whatever means she feels like using to keep the children, and that doesn't paint the picture of someone who is the best parent for these kids.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Did you have any other questions about this?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The attorney my daughter consulted here said not only can they use the hacked information, but her office regularly does. So since they are here and you are not here to be in the court room, I think we will need to go with their advice.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

I'm only giving information, not advice. With that said, she can object to the hacked information being used because it was illegally obtained. Yes, there's a possibility that the judge might rule that it's allowed - but literally every single thing in a case could go the wrong way. If she walks in with the attitude that she's not going to try because she might lose, there's no point in even going to court in the first place. From your questions, it sounded like she wanted to fight, so I was giving you one way to do that. She's free not to object, but there is nothing to lose if she does.

Please rate my answer positively in accordance with the site's honor system, as this is the only way I get paid for all the time I spent answering your questions over the past several days. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

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