Wednesday was my court date. Because Builder violated the restraining order, I had him arrested, and the case was transferred to Integrated Domestic Violence, or IDV court. The IDV judge would decide everything having to do with the restraining order and with custody.
Now, when most of us think of "court," we think of scenes of witnesses testifying and being cross-examined, Law & Order-style. However, because this was "return of process," this basically meant a lot of quiet talking between Builder's attorney, my attorney, and the judge. The judge extended the restraining order into August. Then, it was time to deal with custody. However, Builder's lawyer said that Builder tried to have me arrested for kidnapping. This was not a smart move.
First of all, mixed among the various petitions, reports, and orders, there was no police report accusing me of kidnapping. None. There was a Domestic Incident report that said he violated the restraining order, but there was nothing on me. Secondly, I sat in my local precinct for two hours trying to get Builder served with the original restraining order. No one said anything to me about kidnapping my kids. Somehow, I don't think the NYPD has been taken over to that extent by the Keystone Kops.
Builder also stated that he had never been told to leave his house or escorted off the property. Again, since the police have done this far too many times (and once is too many), the judge did not believe him. Then his lawyer ordered a fact-finding hearing, saying that the restraining order was groundless. The judge, who by this time was getting thoroughly annoyed with Builder and his attorney, said that the original petition was sufficient, but that she would order a fact-finding hearing for July 2. That wasn't good enough for Builder, who wanted one that day. The judge snapped, "I have 750 cases on my docket today! I don't have time for this." Then Builder, who has been avoiding any and all responsibility for his children since Thing 1 was about six months old, tried to pass himself off as Father of the Year (copyright, trademark, patent pending). However, because of the earlier lies, his credibility was shot. The judge gave me custody, and Builder got visitation supervised by Rabbi Brooklyn.
We're back in court next month. The wheels of justice turn slowly.