Local News


Emotional custody battle between two Las Vegas moms

Judge says court order not being enforced
Posted at 11:55 PM, Nov 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-04 12:28:47-05

13 Action News is working to get answers in an emotional custody battle between two women over their 12 year-old daughter. One of the women, Mary Rasmussen, says she hasn't seen her daughter in days despite a judge's order.

"I don't know where she is, I don't know anything," said Rasmussen. 

Rasmussen has kept the door to her daughter's room closed for more than a week. She is frustrated, upset and worried.

Rasmussen says she feels not enough has been done to enforce the court order. That is until 13 Action News got involved. She says the police investigation soon intensified.

This is a very complicated case. 

Documents go into the extensive history between these two women in the courts. The custody battle over the couple's daughter has been going on for more than six years.  

Rasmussen shared pictures and memories of a simpler time with her partner and baby. Rasmussen's ex-partner is the biological mom of the child. However, even after Rasmussen's breakup with the biological mom, the couple had joint custody.

"I have been involved in my daughter's life her whole entire life," said Rasmussen.  

But Rasmussen says her former partner cut her off from their child in recent months. She says she has a pick-up order from the court and even the presiding Judge Mathew Harter agrees the police are not doing enough to enforce it.

"They won't help get the child out of the house," said Rasmussen. "They let the child make the decision and not follow court orders."

The court seems to side with Rasmussen. Judge Harter expressing frustration about a failure to enforce pick-up orders in court minutes. The court stated that keeping Rasmussen away from her daughter "in reality constitutes as a felony."  The court continued stating, "yet, all agencies keep confusingly directing Plaintiff to simply come back to...Family Court."

13 Action News called Henderson police for much-needed clarification.

Henderson police wouldn't talk on camera but say they abide by all court orders and they have been working diligently for a peaceful resolution in this case. Police say they went to the ex's home twice after the pick-up order was issued on Oct. 23, 2018; however, no one was home.

Rasmussen is pleading her ex to make a change.

"This is our child that we have together, and I would like it if you could please just abide by the court orders," she said. "Please stop this madness."

There may be hope. 

Rasmussen states that after 13 Action News got involved, Henderson police picked up the pace of the investigation. She says, once again, detectives have stopped by the home and workplace of her ex.  

Henderson police confirm there is a bench warrant out for the ex. They are communicating with the ex in order to facilitate the safe return of the child. That has not happened as of Friday night.

13 Action News attempted to speak with the ex or her attorney for five days. The ex has declined but she sent 13 Action News emails and text messages alleging mass corruption within the courts.  Additionally, she says another judge has overruled Judge Harter but the ex didn't provide documentation.