A family law attorney in Clark County shared new insight into court documents filed in the divorce proceedings and custody battle between Jessica Smith and her estranged husband, Greg.
She's accused of murdering their two-year-old daughter, Isabella, and cutting their 13-year-old daughter, Alana, last week in a hotel room in Cannon Beach.
Greg Smith filed for divorce from Jessica on June 30, after about 20 years of turmoil between the two. Weeks after that she filed a restraining order against him, fearing for her safety and the safety of their daughters. A judge denied that request.
Then Greg Smith filed for a temporary restraining order against Jessica, which a different judge granted. The resraining order was meant to stop Jessica from taking Isabella and Alana outside of the Vancouver-Portland-metro area. It wasn't to keep Jessica away from Greg or their girls.
The same judge who approved Greg Smith's restraining order against Jessica Smith, also signed off on a temporary parenting plan that called for Greg to have weekend visits with their daughters every other week.
Attorney Phil Anderson, who practices family law in Clark County, but isn't representing either Greg or Jessica Smith, tells KATU News it's not unusual for the same judge to grant a temporary restraining order to force one parent from taking the children outside of a spefific geographic area, and also sign off on a temporary parenting plan that required them to pass their daughters' back-and-forth.
"The court is making the decisions based on written pleadings and 5 or 10 minute presentations by the attorney or the unrepresented party. There is no opportunity for a judge or an attorney to independently verify or to send out any investigatory arm. They just have to make pleadings based on what they have before them," Anderson said.
Jessica Smith violated the restrainging order against her when she took Isabella and Alana to the Oregon Coast.
As for the Smith's divorce, Anderson said it will still happen; it's likely it will get delayed because of the criminal charges Jessica is now facing.