Liberty dismissed from lengthy, contentious custody case

From Liberty University: A Vermont federal court judge reversed himself and dismissed Liberty University from a contentious case that has been ongoing for more than six years.  The order came Wednesday in response to Liberty’s motion to reconsider.  According to Liberty’s lawyers, such motions have a high degree of difficulty and are rarely granted.

”The University appreciates Judge Sessions’ willingness to reconsider his earlier ruling and recognize that there was no legal basis for the suit against the University,” said David Corry, General Counsel for Liberty.

It was the second time Liberty was dismissed from the case which is seeking damages from all those connected to a mother who removed her child from the United States rather than comply with a court order to share custody with her former civil union partner.

The court found that Liberty University could not be vicariously liable for the actions of a Liberty law professor and dean who represented the mother in family law litigation conducted by a non-profit public interest law firm that also employed them.  The court had previously dismissed Liberty because it didn’t have jurisdiction over it but had changed its position when the complaint was amended with new allegations.

The original custody dispute in 2004 has spawned 14 years of litigation so far.  That includes dueling parallel custody suits and appeals in Vermont and Virginia state courts, an insurance coverage case in Virginia federal district court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, several federal criminal cases in Vermont, as well as the currently ongoing Vermont case from which Liberty was dismissed.  The case is  Janet Jenkins v. Kenneth Miller and others.

 

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