Permanency decision: She will be told whether six children with a polygamist will be returned home
Heidi Mattingly Foster will learn next Tuesday whether six of her children with polygamist John Daniel Kingston will be returned home.
That is when 3rd District Juvenile Judge Elizabeth Lindsley has reset a permanency hearing that was to take place Monday. The judge canceled that hearing because of an undisclosed personal emergency.
The complicated child-welfare case involving the couple’s children has dragged on since February 2004. Currently, Mattingly Foster has custody of three children: a toddler and boys ages 10 and 16.
Of eight children in state custody, two – girls ages 17 and 14 – have said they do not want to return to their mother’s home.
Lindsley heard testimony in July from therapists, attorneys, a counselor and Mattingly Foster as part of determining whether it is safe for the children to be reunited with their mother.
Attorneys for the Division of Child and Family Services and Guardian Ad Litem’s Office oppose reuniting the family and, in a separate action, are seeking to terminate the couple’s parental rights. Attorneys for the couple say the 33-year-old mother deserves a shot at parenting those children because she has complied with court orders and has learned new skills that will enable her to provide a safe, healthy home for them.
In a related development, Salt Lake attorney Robert Breeze has given Mattingly Foster a check for $500, keeping
a promise he made last month.
The money comes from settlement of a lawsuit Breeze filed against Salt Lake County after sheriff’s deputies barred him from carrying a pro-Kingston flier, stuffed into his briefcase, into the Matheson Courthouse in April. At the time, 3rd District Juvenile Judge Andrew Valdez – who since has recused himself – was wrapping up a disposition hearing involving Mattingly Foster’s children.
Breeze said the unwritten policy violated his free speech rights, and the county conceded the point in late July. It agreed to pay him $3,200, most of which went to court and attorney fees. The county also reminded deputies to avoid infringing the free speech rights of visitors to the courthouse.
Breeze vowed then to give the $500 to Mattingly Foster, who knows exactly what she’ll do with it: cover back-to-school expenses of her children.