Appeals Court Grants Temporary Stay in Giordano Custody Case
June 15, 2011 -- DURHAM, N.C. "“ The North Carolina Court of Appeals today issued a temporary stay of the custody order involving the children of Alaina Giordano, the Durham woman who is battling Stage 4 breast cancer.
Attorneys for Ms. Giordano on Tuesday filed the temporary stay motion with the court, stating that Ms. Giordano and her children would "suffer irreparable harm" if her children, Sofia, 11, and Bud, 6, were forced to move to Illinois before her appeal was resolved.
Though her cancer currently is stable, District Court Judge Nancy Gordon cited the illness as the primary reason for an April 25 ruling granting full custody of the children to their father, Kane Snyder, who resides 800 miles away in Chicago, IL. A worldwide furor ensued, with sentiment strongly supporting the notion that Ms. Giordano, a stay-at-home mom, should remain the primary caregiver.
Though today's decision effectively allows the children to remain in their home in Durham under the care of their mother, the children still will travel to Chicago this Friday to commence a three-week summer vacation with Mr. Snyder, based upon a previously-agreed summer custody schedule. However, the children no longer have to view Friday's trip as a permanent relocation.
"I am so pleased to hear the news that the Court of Appeals has granted this stay," said Ms. Giordano. "My children wish to remain here, with me, in Durham, where they have great friends and familiar surroundings. They are so relieved to know that they will be coming back here "“ to their home "“ after this brief vacation with their father.
"Though this is one step in what will be, I'm sure, a lengthy appeals process, I am gratified to see that justice can still be served and that the best interests of my children have finally been acknowledged."
The Court of Appeals will next consider the Petition for Writ of Supersedeas, also filed Tuesday, in determining whether to grant an additional stay -- which would last for the duration of the appeals process. No timetable for that decision has been given.
Your $upport and prayers for Alaina boost her spirits in many ways. As you know, she is less than two weeks from losing her children to her abusive ex husband because of her stage IV breast cancer diagnosis. The stress of the looming date, the legal deadlines, and the media attention all cause tremendous strain on her, which can and will affect her health in negative ways. Please, if you have any questions about her case or her relationship with her ex or her children, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or her friend Jordan at email@example.com. We will be happy to have a truthful discussion at any time out of the public dialogue. We are limiting disparaging remarks or press from this fundraising effort and the Facebook fanpage to PROTECT Alaina from seeing the hurtful comments. Her attorneys feel the judgment was an abuse of discretionary power and that it is unnecessary to publicize the judgment as it only confuses the public. The judgment itself IS public, so all supporters are welcome to read it as well as the countering affidavits, but it will not be posted here as per her attorneys' request. Again, many, many thanks for your support of Alaina, she really needs it at this difficult time. She is a strong, beautiful mother who has been a victim of an abusive, manipulative relationship and a justice system that rewards whoever has the most money. She is LIVING with cancer, not DYING from cancer and we will not let her be punished for this!
Patricia, I admire your researching causes to contribute to, but please keep the disparaging remarks outside of Alaina's fan pages. You are free to start a separate page to counter the movement. The 27-page judgment is NOT a representation of the "other" side, as the ruling is based on perjurous testimonies and erroneous allegations. This is the whole reason for this movement. The judge made her ruling against Alaina because of her breast cancer and used findings against Alaina as justification. I know there are just as many if not more allegations against Kane, but the judge chose to ignore those.
Feel free to publicize the ruling elsewhere, but not here, as well as the affidavits for the motion to stay the removal of the children. For now, we do not have permission to post either the judgment or the affidavits opposing the judgment.
Today the generosity of a stranger brings me to tears. Thank you so much to all of you who have supported Alaina, whether with $1 or $1,000 [GASP!]
A few answers to questions on the comments page: The attorneys working her case pro bono are from law firm Brooks Pierce, and the team is led by Clint Morse. Alaina DID file the appeal earlier last week. Alaina has NOT received any compensation for public appearances. The press has only been to attract public support and were successful at attracting her terrific attorneys.
I have so much hope for Alaina right now, but she continues to need your thoughts, as she is battling, not just to keep her children by her side in Durham, but also to keep her health stable. As her supporters, we need to remove the stress and burdens from her life so she may live to see her children grow. This $upport and your kind words help in many, many ways.
We've had nearly 200 donations and we're approaching $7,000! I cut a check yesterday for $5,000 to cover legal costs (transcription of trial and to hire a process server). While the awesome lawyers are working for free, the process is going to co$t a lot.
We appreciate any small amount. It ALL goes to Alaina's legal trust fund. We are still hoping to get a funding site to deposit directly into the legal trust fund, but for now the account only accepts checks by snail-mail. Feel free to email me any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all for your $upport - Alaina is finally getting the support she deserves!
We are almost at $5,000, half way there, please keep it coming!
There have been a couple comments to have a mail-in site. As soon as we have a lawyer, we will set up a trust fund for Alaina. All contributions to the trust fund will go to legal expenses. This donation fund will be split between legal and medical/personal expenses.
Alaina needs any support she can get, so thank you to all of you out there, friends and strangers!
Wow, we can't believe so many people have stepped up to help. We are now over $4,000 on the 4th day! Alaina and I will visit lawyers tomorrow and Tuesday. Hopefully one will offer to work pro bono, but this fund will help Alaina either way. Keep it coming - no amount to small!
I am continually baffled and saddened by the injustice of your case. I pray that you and your children are able to create happy memories when you are together that will last them a lifetime. I also pray for some kind of miraculous softening of their father's heart.