What is the name of your state? minnesota
i am asking this for my mother-in-law (mil)
mil and fil have legal custody of her neice and nephew (her brother's kids). they have lived with them for almost 4 years now. there is a ton of history but i don't think that's relevant for this question - if it is let me know and i can add more. birth father is out of the picture - gave up his rights years ago. birth mother filed for custody and visitation. had a hearing yesterday (not the first hearing) to decide custody. The bm's lawyer gave a letter (or motion? not sure exactly) to the judge saying they wanted to drop the custody issue for now and asked if they could decide the visitation issue instead. (originally visitation was supposed to be decided at a later hearing because obviously if bm got custody back visitation would be moot). when the mil, fil and their lawyer went to court yesterday the change in the schedule of hearing was the first that they heard about it. Their lawyer objected because they weren't prepared and didn't have any of their witnesses there. hte judge said it didn't matter and since they came so far (the bm lives 4 hours away from where court is) they would just have the hearing that day. the issue was whether or not visitation should be supervised. everyone (even bm own sister) says it should be. judge disregarded guardian ad litem's recommendations and gave her unsupervised visits even after her report said that the bm acts inappropriately and is basically a child herself (not agewise just maturity). he said the past doesn't matter even though bm has a history of taking off to different states (that's a bunch of crap but i realize that's his decision to make) basically judge had his mind made up before he even entered the courtroom.
can they appeal this decision? i guess the main issue is that they weren't properly notified (what is it like 14 days before hearing to file a motion or something?) and weren't given a chance to have their witnesses there because of the last minute change. is it even worth appealing? and since as iaal so delicately put, judges can't be sued - what happens when she takes off with the kids since the hearing wasn't fair?
any ideas about what to do?