Did father abuse the minor? Different people said that the child had told them about the abuse. The trial court did not agree that there was any evidence of abuse. Mom appealed.
Court denied mother’s motion for an in camera interview with minor, as mother could have presented the minor’s testimony during the hearing. She could have brought the child to court. Mother chose not to do this.
The trial court has great discretion as to whether to conduct in camera interviews with minors. The court believed that the child might have been coached or talked to by Mother.
The Appellate Court agreed with the Trial Court. You can’t just take a child’s statements by themselves. There needs to be some other evidence to show that the child’s statements are true. You can’t prove neglect or abuse this way.
The minor’s mother wanted the court to stop father’s visitation with the child. She said that it would seriously endanger the minor. The court did not agree with mother. She had shown no evidence that this would happen.
The court looked at a videotape of the minor and her father during visitation at the courthouse. The tape was relevant only for a limited purpose. It showed that the minor did not fear her father. It showed their interaction.
IRMO AGERS, 2013 IL App (5th) 120375.