Friday, August 17, 2012

Kenneth Miller conviction important, but civil suit for money damages might matter even more

I don't know if Janet Jenkins will see her daughter again.  And I think it possible that, even if she does, Lisa Miller's brainwashing of Isabella might make a meaningful reunion impossible, at least without significant counseling intervention.  So Lisa Miller might actually get what she wants -- keeping Isabella away from her other parent in violation of several court orders.

That's where this week's conviction of Kenneth Miller and civil suit against numerous individuals and groups comes in.  Miller might go down a hero in some circles, and if he is incarcerated that might make him a martyr of sorts.  But money talks, and if the civil suit costs the defendants a lot of money that might actually deter future efforts to obstruct custody and visitation orders.

This tactic reminds me of the Southern Poverty Law Center's use of civil law suits to shut down several hate groups as a result of large damages awards.  Such cases take a long time from filing to resolution.   Civil litigation in federal court is a slow and often cumbersome process.  But ultimately a case comes to trial, and a large verdict in favor of Janet Jenkins (and Isabella, also a named plaintiff) will make others think more than twice before breaking numerous laws to further the belief that a child should be shielded from her roots as a product of a lesbian relationship and from a parent who raised and cared for her until unwarranted obstruction.  And if it uncovers evidence that Miller's lawyers at Liberty University School of Law participated in the kidnapping efforts, I hope it cripples that school's efforts to teach students to obey a narrow and rigid (and of course anti-gay) idea of God's law over the civil laws that bind all of us.

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