Judge denies Terri Horman's request to delay Young's civil suit

Judge denies Terri Horman's request to delay Young's civil suit »Play Video
Desiree Young (left) and her lawyer Elden Rosenthal. (KATU photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. - A judge has denied a request by Terri Horman to delay a civil lawsuit brought by Desiree Young that could force Horman to reveal the location of Kyron Horman.

The ruling is a victory for Desiree Young and is expected to keep the civil lawsuit moving forward.

In a motion filed July 25 to hold the case in abatement, Terri Horman said the civil suit seeks facts that could lead to a criminal prosecution and is claiming via her attorney that her rights to self-incrimination are violated if the civil case moves forward.

She wanted the judge to delay the case by two years. Terri Horman has not been charged with any crimes related to Kyron's disappearance.

The suit (PDF), filed by Kyron Horman's biological mother Desiree Young, seeks $10 million and asks a judge to order Terri Horman to return Kyron or, if he's dead, say where his remains are located.

The civil lawsuit accuses Horman of kidnapping Kyron, by herself or with help.

On Wednesday, Young's attorney said the reason this case was filed two years after Kyron's disappearance was because Young gave the criminal justice system the chance to do something and nothing was done.

Terri Horman's attorney argued the lawsuit assumes to take over law enforcement's investigation into the disappearance of Kyron Horman and could influence a future trial jury.

"This is in fact an active, ongoing investigation with a laser pointed at my client," said Horman's attorney Peter Bunch.

Young's attorney argued the Desiree has a constitutional right to know the location of or what happened to her son.

"My client is looking for her son," said Young's attorney Elden Rosenthal. "I don't see how there could be any greater harm than a continued delay in the most important aspect of her life."

Civil allegations require a lower standard of proof — a preponderance of evidence — than criminal charges, which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

On Wednesday, the Multnomah County Judge Henry Kantor said he will set parameters for the proceedings to protect the constitutional rights of Terri Horman.

Kantor is allowing Terri Horman's 18-year-old son, James Moulton, to be deposed in the case Wednesday.

7-year-old Kyron disappeared in June of 2010 when he did not come home from school. Terri Horman said she dropped him off at a science fair at the school in the morning. Photos of Kyron in front of his science fair project on tree frogs were some of the last pictures taken of the boy.

The school, located on the outskirts of Portland, did not have a video security system at the time.

Law enforcement continues to investigate the disappearance. Kyron's father, Kaine Horman, has said in the past he believes his son is still alive.