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Brothers Protest Judge’s Order Moving Siblings

April 13, 1989

WILLMAR, Minn. (AP) _ Two young brothers carried picket signs to protest a judge’s order returning their younger brother and sister to their mother, and threatened to sue the state if their siblings are harmed.

″We’re doing all we can to make (the judge) change his mind. If they go back and die, I’m going to sue the state. If they go back, they’ll get in a lot of trouble,″ said Danny Carnes, 12.

Danny and his brother Peter, 13, both of Willmar, picketed after school Tuesday outside the Kandiyohi County Courthouse protesting the order by District Judge John Lindstrom sending their brother and sister, aged 9 and 10, to live with their mother.

Danny said Lindstrom hasn’t been receptive.

″We wrote a couple of letters to the judge, but he won’t listen,″ said Peter. ″I think he really does not care.″

Not true, says Lindstrom.

″Nobody wants to put anybody in an abusive home. It’s a tough case,″ the judge said.

Lindstrom, citing confidentiality, declined to comment on the case but said the order sending the two children to their mother is ″still up in the air.″

″I’m very sensitive to this being a juvenile, confidential case,″ said Lindstrom. ″I’m not sure what the final result is going to be.″

Lindstrom said his order is contingent upon the children’s mother meeting certain conditions before the children are returned, such as having a home.

″I wouldn’t characterize it as an abusive home,″ Lindstrom said. He said he considered recommendations from all interested parties, including social workers, family members and guardians, in making his decision.

Peter Carnes said that when his younger brother and sister visited their mother recently, she told them they were going to move and he’d never see them again.

The boys said they and their younger brother and sister, as well as another brother, have been living in separate foster homes for about seven years.

″Our dad said he couldn’t take care of all of us,″ Peter said, adding that his foster home is with ″a real nice family.″ He said Danny likes his foster family, too.

Authorities would not release the parents’ names.

″The boys have done this all on their own,″ said Doris Lyman, Peter’s foster mother.

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