SMITH v. QUIGG was an extremely enlightening 2006 Ohio
appellate court case.  Gavin Izaak Smith and Christina
Quigg, an unmarried couple, had a child named Izaak in
April 1998.  Smith was legally declared Izaak's father in
December 1998.  Smith filed for custody in January 1999,
and Smith was declared the residential parent in October
1999.  After Smith obtained custody of Izaak in 1999, the
child resided at the home of Smith's parents, Gregory and
Joyce Smith.  Smith also had an older second child with
whom he had visitation rights, and that second child also
stayed with Gregory and Joyce Smith during such
visitation.  Smith did not always reside with his parents, but
his two children always stayed with the Smiths, and were
parented at least in part by them.  Joyce Smith is a
practicing Jehovah's Witness, and reared Gavin as a
Jehovah's Witness, although he is currently
"disfellowshipped" (excommunicated). Gregory Smith did
not attend any church, but wanted Izaak to be reared as a
Jehovah's Witness.

In February 2001, Christina Quigg was killed in an
automobile accident.  Christina's parents, Carla and Eugene
Quigg, who were Methodists, were granted rights of
companionship with Izaak in September 2001.  On October
5, 2001, Smith denied the Quiggs their scheduled
companionship.  On October 10, 2001, the court allocated
visitation rights to the Quiggs. Part of the order directed the
Quiggs to comply with the wishes of Smith regarding the
religious training for Izaak. Visitation with Izaak continued to
be a source of conflict between the parties.

Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays, holidays,
or political and national holidays. They do not say the
pledge of allegiance, do not salute the flag, and do not
honor other secular icons. Jehovah's Witnesses do not
participate in competitive team sports. By contrast, the
Quigg's Methodist church does not forbid those activities.

On January 2, 2002 and on August 22, 2002, the Quiggs filed
a motion for contempt against Smith for denying their
companionship rights. In the August 22 motion the Quiggs
also moved for reallocation of companionship rights. On
October 23, 2002, the court appointed a guardian ad litem
for Izaak.  On May 4, 2003 Dr. Jack Tarpey submitted his
report on the psychological evaluations he had done on the
Quiggs and on Smith.  Dr. Tarpey reported Izaak had no
developmental difficulties and was age appropriate in his
behavior and abilities. Dr. Tarpey reported he observed
Izaak's interaction with Smith and there was no indication of
avoidance.  Dr. Tarpey also indicated he found nothing in
his evaluation of the Quiggs to justify Smith's criticisms of
them, but noted that Smith had a strong motivation to deny
them a relationship with Izaak.

On May 13, 2003, the Smiths commenced a proceeding to
adopt Izaak in Franklin County, Ohio.  Smith consented to
the adoption of his son by his parents. The Fairfield County
Court, where all prior legal proceedings had occurred, was
not notified of the adoption proceeding, nor were the
Quiggs, nor the guardian ad litem. On July 3, 2003, the
Franklin County Probate Court issued a final decree of

When the fraudulent adoption was disclosed to the Quiggs,
they took legal action.  The Franklin County Probate Court
vacated the adoption decree
on August 28, 2003, and transferred the adoption case to the
Fairfield County Probate Court, which subsequently
dismissed the adoption proceedings.  On September 2,
2003, the Quiggs filed a motion for emergency custody of
Izaak. The court granted the motion. On September 11,
2003, the Smiths filed a motion to intervene, which was also
granted. At the hearing on the emergency custody order,
the Smiths were awarded temporary custody of Izaak with
the Quiggs receiving companionship rights. The court
ordered the Smiths to submit to psychological testing by
Dr. Tarpey.  Conflict between Smith and the Quiggs
continued, and in December of 2003, the Quiggs again filed
for emergency custody. The court granted the emergency
custody order, and at the subsequent hearing, the court
continued temporary custody of Izaak with the Quiggs. The
Smiths received companionship rights, but Smith was not
given any specific companionship rights.  The court found
appellant had abandoned Izaak and indicated he had no
interest in parenting him. The record indicated Smith's
previous practice was to share parenting time and duties
with the Smiths and the court found Smith could continue to
visit with Izaak when he was at the Smiths' home.

The guardian ad litem reported Gavin Smith repeatedly lied
about his religious observances and church attendance,
and the report gives the distinct impression the guardian ad
litem questioned the sincerity of appellant's beliefs.  The
lower court record indicated that both Gavin Smith and his
mother Janice Smith participated in emotional and physical
abuse of Izaak. After Izaak reported incidents of sexual
abuse, ie inappropriate touching, by Joyce Smith, the
Fairfield County Children's Services investigated but did
not intervene. The guardian ad litem was extremely critical
of Gavin Smith and the Smiths, and their own counselor
testified they were inflexible and Joyce Smith is
The court awarded temporary custody of Izaak on
September 16, 2003 to the Smiths on their assurance they
would honor the court's visitation orders in the future.
However, the record shows they did not do so. On
December 18, 2003 the court again entered an emergency
ex parte order awarding custody to the Quiggs, and
continued it on January 5, 2004 after a hearing.  Apparently,
Smith withheld Izaak from a 48 hour visit with the Quiggs
because the Quiggs intended to trim their Christmas tree
that weekend, which is contrary to the Smith's WatchTower
religious beliefs.  The record indicated that Gavin Smith and
his parents paddled Izaak if he participated in any of the
Quigg's activities if those activities were forbidden by the
WatchTower Society.
The Quiggs moved for an order that the Smith Trio pay all
attorney fees, guardian ad litem fees, psychological
examination fees, and other costs associated with the
proceedings. The court eventually sustained the motion
and ordered appellant and the Smiths collectively to pay
$105,540.37 with statutory interest.  The court found the
Smith Trio in civil and criminal contempt in the final entry
dated December 30, 2004.  The court found because of the
contemptuous actions of the Smith Trio, the Quiggs were
required to take drastic, prolonged court action. The court
found all activity and expenses after the initial visitation
order were a result of the Smith Trio's improper conduct.  
The court found the Smith trio had all operated in bad faith,
and all the fees stemmed entirely from their refusal to
comply with the orders of the court. The court found they
all participated in the fraudulent adoption proceedings in
July 2003. The court found the Smith Trio never had any
intention to allow the Quiggs any contact with the child.  
The trial court specifically found both Gavin Smith and his
parents had a "track record" of total distain for any court
order and believe their own personal wishes outweigh the
court's order.
Jehovah's Witnesses Lose in Court-Often....