Nathan Rittgers and his common law wife (which is recognized in Texas perhaps), Glenna Guardado, were in court last week to determine their fate in the custody of their three week old son. The two are accused of causing serious bodily injury to their three-week old son.
Juvenile Court Judge Brent Chesney held the hearing to focus on the boy’s future.
Nathan Rittgers, Jr., was taken to Driscoll Children’s Hospital two weeks ago because the baby suffered a broken leg, broken arm and swelling in the brain.
His parents entered court Wednesday, both chained and cuffed as they went before the judge in the adversary hearing. It was an effort to try and determine the court orders that need to be in place, and the family service plan.
Nathan Jr. and his half sister, Amber, were ordered to remain in foster care with a registered nurse. Their parents were told to have no contact with either child.
As far as the family service plan, there are several members of the couple’s family who are stepping forward, offering to take care of the children.
“This is our nephew, you know. Little baby Nathan is our great nephew and we want the best environment for them, and the sister Amber as well, and our goal is to make sure they’re safe,” said Darla Rittgers, the defendant’s aunt. “That they’ve got opportunities to whatever God has planned for them to do.”
“Whenever there’s a family in crisis and there’s a child in care, it’s extremely important when family members come forward, because that whole family as a group is going to come together and help each other,” said John Lennan, spokesperson for Child Protective Services. “And that’s very important in helping to resolve some of these cases.”
There will be another hearing before Judge Chesney on Oct. 3. By that time, the state is expected to have fully investigated all of the relatives and may be able to advise the judge as to which ones may be fit to care for the two children.
In the meantime, Rittgers had a bond reduction hearing which was denied, and his wife is supposed to have one this week as well.
From an Orange County Dependency Lawyer’s perspective, this is just heart-breaking for the infant baby boy.
Here in Orange County, California, if both parents are suspected of child abuse or neglect, a dependency court judge will hear the case and determine if the parents are suitable to care for the child or if the child needs to be placed in someone else’s care or even in foster care.
Call a Santa Ana Dependency Lawyer for further information.