Missoula (AP) – A seven-year-old was at the center of a Missoula courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him.
The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents, and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the highest degree possible.
The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents, and he adamantly refused to live with her.
When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they beat him, also.
After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.
After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge, granted temporary custody to the Montana State Bobcats, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone.