Judge seals custody case after News 4 investigative report

Reported by: Joe Hart
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Updated: 1/30/2014 12:07 pm
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- Two days after News 4 aired a report about a child custody case with child abuse charges involved, the Clark County Judge wants the case sealed from the public.

Antonio Morales, of Reno, currently has physical custody of his two children. Their mother, Roxane Arteaga, is currently on bail awaiting trial on a felony child abuse charge in Las Vegas. She is charged with abusing and neglecting her daughter.

However, Roxane filed for custody, and the judge was set to hear the case on Wednesday, even though the judge's staff told us the judge's policy is to wait until the criminal case is resolved.

After the News 4 story aired on Monday, Clark County Family Court Judge Jennifer Elliot is now seeking to seal the case, so that no one will be allowed to know what goes on in the courtroom.

This new development has come just two days after the investigation raised questions about the judge's actions in this case.
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noblehse1 - 10/16/2014 10:56 AM
0 Votes
She tends to favor the mother. My stepson has so much anxiety since she let her have primary custody of him. She doesn't review all the facts. I thought the law said best interest of the child. The mother had domestic violence charges, drug charges, evictions and constant police visitation to her place. And she is suppose to be mother of the year. I feel that this judge takes sides.

Goofmaster - 1/30/2014 11:43 PM
1 Vote
I am an abused Child. I still suffer the effects over 50 years later. When I was 16, I was given the choice of Detention as a guest of Washington State, or live with my father {Charge – running away from foster home #5 or #6 by stealing the family car – went to Canada for a few months}. Did not even know he was alive. Wish I have never found out he was. 5 months later, I moved to California to live with mom {another story} to escape the abuse. To make a very long story short, being "Alienated" was better. I hate others making decisions that affect me when they have their heads where. That reminds me, time to take my Prozac.

missmarymack - 1/30/2014 7:40 PM
3 Votes
I am another of many who knows Mr. Morales personally, and can attest to his good character and his tireless will to adequately and lovingly care for his children. It’s sad to see how this case has become an injustice to a father who is doing everything right, and fighting to protect his kids. If the mother has a pending criminal case for child abuse, and the judge allows the mother to have access to and visitation with the children even after seeing the evidence of abuse, it makes me question the judge’s past judicial decision in similar cases. Because of the concurrent CPS case, what basis, if any, is the judge allowing the non-custodial parent to have contact with the children and not taking into account the children were victims of violence by that parent? Did she decide it was an isolated incident and that some parents make mistakes and deserve second chances? What is CPS’s response to her actions? Is she on a case plan? Is she enrolled in anger management or parenting classes? If there are alcohol and/or drugs involved, is she enrolled in AA/NA and taking random drug testing? The judge says she wants to seal the case to protect the children from the media. Sounds more like a political move. Mr. Morales would never have gone to the media if he felt his children would be negatively exposed. Also, the judge says on the record that alienation of children from the mother is the bigger issue. So, alienation trumps child abuse? Alienation from a parent is more questionable than a mother who beat her child to bruises and welts? Until the criminal case is decided the mother should have no contact with the children, if not supervised. I understand CPS’s goal of reunification and exhausting remedies to bring families together but until the criminal case is decided, there should be no talks of reunification. Mr. Morales should explore the idea of having this judge disqualified and new one appointed. He and his children deserve a happy ending.

jshconca - 1/30/2014 7:11 PM
4 Votes
I can't believe this is real! That judge needs to be kicked off the bench. What a disgrace!!!

tryng2servive - 1/30/2014 1:53 PM
5 Votes
What is this judge hiding? I think she needs to be investigated!

dora665 - 1/30/2014 1:02 PM
0 Votes
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GMann - 1/30/2014 10:32 AM
3 Votes
I've been through Family Court. When judges seal cases, they are usually trying to hide something. I agree, this judge needs to be investigated for prior cases. On a brighter note, judge Weller is being challenged in the next election. What a P.O.S. he is. Long live Darren Mack!

oldguyincc - 1/30/2014 10:02 AM
4 Votes
With the attention that this case is receiving, an appeal to any decision rendered by Judge Eliot is almost guaranteed. The Judge should immediately recuse herself from the case.

THEGOODFIGHT - 1/30/2014 9:38 AM
3 Votes
I grew up as a military child with Antonio and I just don't think this judge understands the power and resiliency of a child raised overseas when they grow up and become an adult. Not only do we band together and create lifelong friendships, we also call things as they are; right when right and wrong when wrong. This judge is so wrong it is embarrassing - no wonder she sealed the case from the media. I'm sitting here in Germany, were Antonio and I grew up, now that I am in the military myself, and I'm coming off a shift of helping the wounded of Operation Enduring Freedom. You can best believe my Senator, Congressman, and those appointed to the state of Nevada will be hearing my disgust on this matter directly from overseas with an official Air Force letterhead and follow up in writing request. An investigation needs to be launched and the Graduates of Bitburg American High School, although 15+ years since graduated, NEVER LEAVE A FRIEND BEHIND! We might be from a small class, but you can believe it is about the fight in the dog - not the size that matters. God bless Antonio Morales and his children.

nubgnngs42 - 1/30/2014 1:35 AM
4 Votes
Let's do some background on the judge to find out what her experience really is. I doubt she has any Law education or license. As Tatro in Carson City, many "judges" and I use that word loosely, have no legal knowledge at all. just someone that got the job via the "good old boy" system and now homesteads there. Nevada is 1 of 11 states that don't require a Law Degree to be a judge. Yet they go around screwing people over and ruining lives. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE and this judge and Tatro are why.

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