A 5th Circuit judge has denied an attorney's request to question nine persons in support of a motion to block a polygamist couple's attempt to adopt six children.
The children, ranging in age from 4 to 18 years, started living with a polygamist family in Hildale when their mother, Brenda Johansen Thornton, left their natural father and became the polygamist wife of Vaughan Fischer.Their mother later died of cancer and Fischer, along with another wife, Sharane Fischer, were granted temporary custody of the children June 30, 1987.
The adoption is being opposed by Thornton's half sisters Patricia L. Johansen, Washington, D.C., and Janet E. Johansen, Salem, Ore., and the children's grandfather, Calvin Johnson, also of Salem.
Judge Philip Eves ruled this week that attorney Tim Anderson, who represents the relatives, could get depositions only from Erwin Fischer and Marion Peine, two of the nine people he originally wanted to question, because they had a family relationship to the petitioners.
Eves issued his ruling following a motion for a protective order by attorney V. Lowry Snow on behalf of four of his clients, all of whom Anderson had originally sought to depose.
Eves ruled that Anderson was to be barred from taking depositions from the others because they were not related to the family. Eves also ruled that Anderson could not take any new depositions without proper applications to the court that would specify familial relationship.
In addition, the court ordered that certain medical records from the Dixie Medical Center Home Health Agency that relate to the adoption be released to Snow.