Mike Miller's brother in custody battle
VERMILLION -- A child custody battle between Jared Miller, brother of Miami Heat basketball player and Mitchell native Mike Miller, and Jared Miller's ex-wife was presented Tuesday to the South Dakota Supreme Court.
Jared Miller's ex-wife, Jessica Ibanez, agreed to terminate her parental rights for the couple's three children in 2009. The couple divorced in 2007 after Ibanez discovered Miller was having an affair, according to a summary of the case provided by the state Supreme Court,
Ibanez made that agreement with the understanding she would have continued contact with the children, among other conditions.
But after the agreement, Ibanez claimed Miller refused to allow her contact with the children, the summary says.
Ibanez attempted to have her parental rights reinstated, but a circuit court judge denied the request. Now Ibanez and her attorneys, Jason Sutton and Thomas Welk, of Sioux Falls, are asking the Supreme Court to reverse that judge's decision.
"What my client ultimately wants is to see her children," Sutton said Tuesday before the Supreme Court.
Ibanez and her attorneys are also alleging fraud because of Miller's supposed violation of their deal.
Attorney Clint Sargent, of Sioux Falls, represents Miller and his current wife, Amy Miller. He said the judge's original decision should stand because Ibanez has not shown there to be "exceptional circumstances" to reverse the judgment. He asked the Supreme Court to affirm that ruling.
"It's those three little girls that are going to be most affected by the court's decision in this case," he said.
Even if their is evidence of fraud -- which the circuit court judge did not find -- the best interests of the couple's children should trump that, Sargent argued.
The best interests of the children, Sargent said, are to stay with their current adopted mother, Amy Miller.
The Supreme Court will issue a decision at a later date.