trip to Hawaii this summer with the children for the duration of his court-ordered summer visitation time. However, his elder daughter wanted to go to Hawaii earlier, for the entire summer, because she had previously attended a summer drama program there that she wished to continue with. She asked dad to buy a ticket with an earlier departure date. The purchase of this ticket is the criminal act that landed Leisk in jail.
Because ex-wife Morin opposed the earlier trip for their daughter, she tried to get the court to punish Leisk. She filed a Complaint for Contempt against him for buying the ticket, essentially claiming that the ticket purchase amounted to an intent to violate the agreed upon summer visitation schedule. In fact, Leisk was brought to Dedham P&F Court three times to answer to this charge. The irony is that the charge was dismissed and should never have been heard a third time.
At the first court date on May 28, Morin attempted to get a motion hearing on the matter, but Judge Langlois refused to hear the issue because he and Morin's attorney were (incorrectly, it turns out) not aware that there was an open complaint. (There must always be an underlying Complaint, ie., an existing open case, before any motion can be brought to court.)
Morin next filed a Complaint for Civil Contempt that was heard by Judge Christina Harms on June 12. At the hearing, Morin alleged that the purchase of the airline ticket "facilitated breaking the (visitation) agreement." Leisk argued that because he no longer had legal custody rights to his daughter (refer to "Case History"), he could not be held in contempt. He claimed that the decision to prevent their elder daughter from going to Hawaii rested with the only parent who had the legal authority: Morin herself. Leisk had only bought the ticket at the request of his daughter, not to instigate any mischief, he claimed. Furthermore, he claimed that Morin had not unambiguously told their daughter not to go; rather, she wanted Leisk to be the bad guy and take the responsibility for it.
Apparently, Judge Harms agreed with Leisk. After further discussion and asking Morin, "Why not tell her she can't go?" Harms stated "I'm going to dismiss this." However, Judge Harms apparently failed to properly dismiss the complaint. The only written record of the hearing is an order relating to a previous child support issue. Leisk assumes it was simply an error. However, he was to pay a heavy price for that error.
Undaunted, Morin filed a Complaint for Criminal Contempt on the matter. At this third hearing on the matter on July 6, Judge J. Kopelman displayed no concern at the frivolity of the complaint. The same arguments were given by both sides, but Leisk's testimony was cut short by Kopelman:
"I don't care...
"You say you bought this ticket. That's enough for me to find you guilty of contempt...
"Take him into custody."