Third District Juvenile Judge Andrew Valdez gave Kingston permission to attend the services, held Monday, with Mattingly Foster. But Valdez said he left in place an order barring Kingston from contact with their 11 children, who also attended.
Assistant Attorney General Carolyn Nichols told the judge Thursday that Kingston interacted with the children, and that both he and Mattingly Foster should be held in contempt. She asked Valdez for a hearing to present evidence the couple violated his order there and on other occasions during the week.
Nichols and Guardian Ad Litem Kristin Brewer also say they were not properly notified of Kingston’s request to attend the funeral, which Valdez granted last Friday. Attorneys for the couple say they too have not always received timely notification of matters throughout the 14-month-long child welfare case.
Brewer said the funeral ended up being “a circus” and “free-for-all” and that the interaction with Kingston and other family members had distressed some of the children.
Valdez said he had expected Kingston to have no contact with them, but that the children “have a right to go to their grandfather’s funeral.”
Kingston, who did not attend the hearing, later told The Salt Lake Tribune he hugged some of the children during the viewing for Ronald Mattingly and posed for a picture with them.
“When I got approval to attend the funeral, it was my understanding I had permission to treat it as a supervised visit,” Kingston said, adding it would have been inappropriate to not greet his children. “What would that do to a child if their father shunned them in any way?”
The judge did not set a date for the contempt hearing. He could do it before, during or after a scheduled June 28 hearing, when he is supposed to review efforts to reunite Mattingly Foster and nine of her children now in state custody.
The couple’s oldest son was allowed to return home on Thursday. The 15-year-old spent five months in an adolescent facility and several weeks in a foster home after being taken into state custody on Oct. 19. During Thursday’s hearing, Valdez also met with the attorneys in his chambers to hear why the couple’s 13-year-old daughter and her guardians asked that she be placed back in state custody.
Last July, Valdez made the girl’s uncle, Justin Mattingly and his wife, Shawna Blacksher Mattingly, her permanent guardians. Neither are associated with the Kingston group. Valdez said he was satisfied with the explanation for the move and with DCFS’s efforts to try to make it work.
The judge also said the teen is not – and does not want to be – part of the effort to reunite Mattingly Foster and her other children, which the girl made clear in an affidavit submitted Thursday. He said her parents will now need to provide support payments to the state for her care.