The legal battle over teen runaway Fathima Rifqa Bary of Columbus will continue in a Franklin County courtroom after an Orlando hearing yesterday brought more questions than resolutions.
Orange County, Fla., Circuit Judge Daniel Dawson did nothing to change the custody of the 17-year-old, who is living with a foster family near Orlando, and said he planned to talk to the Franklin County judge handling the case to find out whether there is a legitimate custody action in Ohio.
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Yesterday, Rifqa’s father stepped up a strategy to bring his daughter back to Columbus. Mohamed Bary filed a criminal complaint against the Orlando pastors who helped shelter Rifqa for more than two weeks before the state intervened.
A letter sent to Orlando police by Mohamed Bary claimed Rifqa was “indoctrinated and coerced” by representatives of Global Revolution Church and “was hidden” by the Lorenzes. Orlando police said they are not investigating.
In recent weeks, the Barys launched a new strategy to get their daughter back to their Northeast Side home and placed in Ohio’s foster-care system. Mohamed Bary’s filing, asking a judge to declare his daughter incorrigible for repeatedly being disobedient, is one case in Ohio.
An Ohio judge will address two cases involving teen runaway Fathima Rifqa Bary at a hearing in late October, Rifqa’s Ohio lawyer told the Orlando Sentinel today.
A court in Columbus was supposed to take up one of the matters involving Rifqa today, but a magistrate judge decided Monday to set both cases — a criminal case and a dependency case — for a hearing Oct. 27, said Ohio lawyer Kort W. Gatterdam.
Gatterdam is representing Rifqa in the criminal matter. That case was prompted by a filing by Rifqa’s father, Mohamed Bary, asking a judge to declare his daughter incorrigible for repeatedly being disobedient.
Gatterdam said he filed a motion to dismiss that case this morning.
In the mean time, Rifqa, 17, remains in Florida.
The parents of an Ohio teenager who ran away to Orlando because she thought her life was in danger for converting from Islam to Christianity filed court papers Monday to get the case moved to Ohio.
The parents of Rifqa Bary, 17, filed a motion for a hearing seeking jurisdiction of the case to be moved from Orlando to Columbus.
An Ohio judge has set a hearing for Oct. 27.
The Florida judge supervising the case said at a hearing in Orlando Monday that he will consult with his Ohio counterpart to settle jurisdictional issues.
However, Krista Bartho-lomew, Bary’s court-appointed advocate, said at the hearing she worried the case would be dismissed once it was moved to Ohio.