Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Thorndike v. Lisio

Supreme Court of Maine

January 19, 2017

TAMMY J. THORNDIKE
v.
JESSICA ANN LISIO

          Submitted On Briefs: November 29, 2016

          Judgment affirmed. Jessica Ann Lisio, appellant pro se

          Timothy J. Kimpton, Esq., Gallagher, Villeneuve and DeGeer, PLLC, Damariscotta, for appellee Tammy J. Thorndike

          SAUFLEY. C.T.. and ALEXANDER, MEAD, JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          SAUFLEY, C.J.

         [¶1] Jessica Ann Lisio appeals from a judgment of the District Court (Rockland, Raimondi, J.) finding that Tammy J. Thorndike is a de facto parent of two of Lisio's biological children. We discern no error in the court's determinations that Thorndike "has undertaken a permanent, unequivocal, committed, and responsible parental role in [each] child's life, " and that "there are exceptional circumstances sufficient to allow the court to interfere with" the biological parents' parental rights. Pitts v. Moore, 2014 ME 59, ¶ 27, 90 A.3d 1169 (quotation marks omitted). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment.

         I. BACKGROUND

         [¶2] The facts are drawn from the procedural record of the case and the court's supported findings of fact. See Kilborn v. Carey, 2016 ME 78, ¶ 3, 140 A.3d 461. Lisio and Thorndike, who lives as a man, met in 2005 when Lisio's son, Caden, was one year old. They began living together in Bath in August 2007. Thorndike was not working at the time because he had suffered a back injury. Lisio was working as a newspaper carrier. Thorndike cared for Caden while Lisio was working. He got the child ready in the morning, delivered him to and from preschool, bathed him, read to him, played with him, took him to medical appointments, and acted in all ways as a loving father to Caden.

         [¶3] Thorndike and Lisio decided to have a child together in 2007 or 2008. Lisio arranged to be artificially inseminated, and she became pregnant with Arianna. She and Thorndike registered as domestic partners in early 2009.during the pregnancy. Arianna was born on May 11, 2009.

         [¶4] Lisio returned to work about one week after Arianna was born. She began working as a certified nursing assistant and also maintained her paper route. Thorndike was a stay-at-home parent who did all the things a parent does-changing diapers, making bottles, being up at night with the baby, and continuing to take care of Caden. Thorndike also took care of housekeeping chores and attended Arianna's doctor appointments with Lisio. At those appointments, Thorndike presented himself as Arianna's father. Lisio, Thorndike, and the two children did things together and functioned as a loving family.

         [¶5] When Arianna was eight or nine months old, Thorndike and Lisio began having problems in their relationship. Lisio had a brief affair with another person, though the parties remained together and maintained the same parental roles. The couple decided to move to Wiscasset and make a fresh start. Thorndike began to work at a Rockland restaurant during the day, and Lisio, who had stopped delivering newspapers, worked as a CNA at night. Each of them cared for the children while the other was at work. The relationship continued to deteriorate, however, and Thorndike began a relationship with someone else and moved out in 2012.

         [¶6] After moving out, Thorndike continued to call the children every day before bedtime, and the children visited him, though the parties disagree about how frequently. By the end of 2012, Lisio had a new boyfriend, Joshua Cote. Cote was working for a carnival and traveled seasonally in New England. Lisio would bring the children and stay with him during weekends. After Cote found out that Thorndike was transgender, Cote demanded that Thorndike pay child support if he wanted to see the children. Thorndike made some payments but did not pay regular child support.

         [¶7] During the last week of June 2014, while the children were visiting Thorndike for the weekend, Caden revealed to Thorndike that Cote had been hitting him, and Caden had bruises. Caden said that Lisio had said not to tell.

         [¶8] Thorndike called his sister and organized a meeting with his parents and Lisio's parents. At the end of the weekend, the children went to stay with Lisio's parents, consistent with Caden's wishes, and a report was made to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department substantiated the report and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.