Father fights for custody of daughter used for drug trafficking
Mon, 26 Jul 2010 22:21:49 GMT —
A Fenton man is battling for custody of his 4-year-old daughter after she was used for drug trafficking by her mother.
But he says Michigan TMs law is getting in the way.
It's a complicated case of who has the right to raise a little girl named Maleigh: the biological father who once raised her or the mother's husband who promised to take responsibility, but has gotten into trouble with the law.
For years, Fenton resident Daniel Quinn has been fighting the Michigan court system to bring his daughter, Maleigh, home.
I just want my baby girl home, I miss her terribly," said Daniel Quinn, Maleigh TMs biological father.
Monday, Maleigh's family rallied outside the 7th Circuit Court in Flint, bringing awareness to what they say is a flawed judicial system.
"I want to get justice, not just for my grand-daughter, but for every child that's been taken away from good parents," said Sharon Quinn, Maleigh TMs grandmother.
Two years ago, Genesee County Judge John Gadola denied Quinn parental rights of Maleigh, even though DNA testing proved he was the biological father.
Maleigh's mother, Candace Beckwith, then took her to live in Ohio with her estranged husband, Adam Beckwith.
Quinn hasn't seen her since.
"How dare anyone take her away from me, that's my daughter, I want her home, and I want her safe," said Daniel Quinn.
Now 4-year-old Maleigh is in foster care in Ohio, because the Beckwiths have been convicted of using her for drug trafficking.
I TMm scared. She was safe and her dad has been denied the right to protect her, said Sharon Quinn.
Attorney Greg Rohl says Quinn was denied custody because Candace TMs husband promised to raise Maleigh as his own, something Michigan's Paternity Act allows.
"This is an archaic system that suggests that because you TMre married, any issue that is derived from that marriage is an issue of that family, that marriage," said Quinn TMs Attorney, Greg Rohl.
Attorney Rohl says Michigan TMs Paternity Act was created two centuries ago, it was created to respect the sanctity of marriage and the family unit, but he says that law needs to be changed because of DNA testing.
"This law aided in the kidnapping of my little girl, my little girl was kidnapped from the only father she knew," said Daniel Quinn.
Now Quinn will have to use the law that took Maleigh away from him, to get her back.
Quinn TMs motion to vacate an award of custody was adjourned by Judge Gadola Monday until Aug. 16 so that Beckwith's attorney can prepare a response.
Meantime, Quinn says he won't stop fighting the system until Maleigh is in his arms again.
Candace Beckwith did not want to comment on the issue Tuesday.
NBC25 will be following Quinn TMs case, and will be taking an in depth look into how it could change Michigan TMs Paternity Act.