By Sarah Forman
Providence, R.I. – In a pointed decision reversing a termination of parental rights, Rhode Island's highest court has again criticized Jeremiah Jeremiah Jr., retiring chief judge of the Family Court.
The High Court returned parental rights to Jason Trench, who had been an inmate at the Adult Correctional Institutions for all but 100 days of his daughter's life when the case came to Family Court, according to the opinion written by Justice Francis X. Flaherty.
Flaherty wrote that the court was "troubled by the scant record upon which the justice came to the conclusion of unfitness," and that Jeremiah's decision had been based upon a "paucity of evidence" that failed to recognize the efforts Trench had made to maintain contact with his daughter even while imprisoned.
In April, Supreme Court Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg similarly excoriated Jeremiah for his treatment of a juvenile offender.
Jeremiah will retire at the end of June after 23 years on the Family Court.