Harry Brown won permanent sole legal and physical custody of his son, Harry Brown Jr., with Legal Aid’s help after a two-year custody dispute with his ex-wife. Mr. Brown, who is legally blind, had also experienced emotional abuse and threats from Harry Jr.’s mother for years. They struggled to co-parent and ultimately Harry Jr. was removed from his mother’s care over concerns of medical neglect and placed with Mr. Brown by the Child and Family Services Agency.
Over a period of two years, including many delays due to COVID-19, Legal Aid assisted Mr. Brown with domestic violence cases, custody, and Harry Jr.’s benefits. Legal Aid advised Mr. Brown on his Civil Protection Order, which he was able to obtain for one year. Mr. Brown’s ex-wife also filed numerous meritless Civil Protection Orders against him, bringing him back and forth to Court. Legal Aid assisted with Mr. Brown’s defense to secure his safety and to provide him with support through these legal attacks.
“I was homeless for a minute," Mr. Brown said. "I was living with my brother and then when [Harry Jr.’s mother] wanted to do full custody of my son and she had threatened to take him out of my life for good, that’s when I went to Legal Aid because I started receiving death threats [from her].”
Legal Aid was also able to assist Mr. Brown with getting Harry Jr.’s name added to his Medicaid to ensure he had medical insurance. He faced numerous challenges to getting access to Harry Jr.’s medical insurance, including the mother’s refusal to share information and errors and delays within the Department of Human Services.
Legal Aid continued to assist Mr. Brown with his ongoing custody dispute between the parties. After Harry Jr. was placed in his care, he filed a motion to modify the permanent custody order. Legal Aid represented Mr. Brown at his hearing to modify the order, after which he was granted permanent sole legal and sole physical custody of his son. Mr. Brown had waited for years for this outcome.
"It felt emotional, [I was] overwhelmed with joy," Mr. Brown said. "[I remember] jumping up and down, hugging my son and everything.”