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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Is there any temporary court order that spells out who has custody, etc... and what the parent with custody / visitation rights can or cannot do?
No, there are no orders as of yet.
Thank you. Until there are specific written orders that pertain to how / when / etc... a parent can exercise custody / visitation over the child, there's nothing (other than seeking said orders) that can be done. The reason is that the parent that has actual custody (either as part of the official custody or visitation) can designate the person whom watches / transports / cares for that child. So you, when you have actual custody or visitation rights, can designate that a girlfriend / parent / friend / etc... watch the child, etc... assuming that there is not an order specifically saying that you can't.
the likelihood of getting such an order limiting a parent's right in this regard is dependent upon the actual risk of harm. For instance, if a boyfriend has a record of child abuse, it would be far more likely that a court would order no overnight stays for a boyfriend, or even say that custody is not awarded in that situation.
Do I have anything actionable against the officer or the department for doing this?
In your specific situation, if you show that his control goes through dangerous neighborhoods, or it is more likely that he would get called on an emergency call, it would be easier to get an order that would prevent her from allowing him to transport the child in this manner.
Since there is not a law that prohibits this, no, there's nothing that you can do at this point. If, God forbid, something were to happen and your child was injured, you could bring a lawsuit against the officer or department based upon negligence.
Could I sue the depatment or file a complaint against him for his actions?
But until there is actual harm, any such case would not yet be "ripe". Ripeness is a legal requirement for a lawsuit/
Ok, would you recommend a complaint be filed?
you could file a complaint with the department, and this might result in him being told by his superiors not to do this. However, that's entirely internal, and it's not something that could be compelled unless there was a court order saying that he cannot transport the child in a squad car.
I would first make it an informal request that he be asked not to transport the child in a squad car. That might take care of the issue, without the negative effects of having a formal complaint on his file. However, this is entirely up to you.
(you do want to keep it as civil as possible...)
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