A judge in Tennessee has ruled that the former Shelbyville mother who sent her adopted son back to Russia is liable for child support.
Circuit Court Judge Lee Russell on Wednesday approved a motion for default judgment against Torry Hansen, who has repeatedly failed to appear in court and at depositions.
Last month, Circuit Court Judge Lee Russell ordered Hansen to return to Tennessee to answer questions from attorneys.
Hansen did not appear at Wednesday's hearing but rather sent a letter saying she needed someone to appoint her an attorney because she doesn't have the money to travel back to Bedford County from where she currently lives in California for proceedings relating to the case.
Hansen has refused to talk to investigators since April 2010 when she sent her then-seven-year-old adopted son back to Moscow with a note saying he had psychological problems and that she didn't want to be his mother anymore.
No criminal charges were ever filed, but Hansen's adoption agency, World Association for Children and Parents, filed a lawsuit seeking child support.
In Wednesday's hearing, Judge Russell granted default judgment, a request made by the adoption agency's attorney, Larry Crain.
“We've been waiting a long time for this day,” said Crain, who added, “The real victim here is Justin Hansen. His voice needs to be heard in this case.”
Crain is also asking the court order Hansen pay $5,000 in attorney's fees for the depositions they prepared but Hansen did not show up for.
Hansen is technically still the boy's legal mother although he has been living in Russia in a group home since he was first sent back nearly two years ago.
Crain said, “I think the eyes of the Russian authorities and the Ministry of Education and others there are on this case. I think they'll take a very instructive look at what consequences are attached to Ms. Hansen's conduct and making sure safeguards are in place in the future, making sure something like this never happens again.”
A damages hearing to determine how much Hansen will owe is set for May 17.
- Feb. 2, 2012: Mom to face deposition in Russian adopted boy case
- Jan. 23, 2012: Woman who returned Russian adopted boy faces suit
- Nov. 21, 2011: Judge rules Russian adoption case will be open
- Oct. 27, 2011: Returned Russian boy could be added to lawsuit
- Oct. 13, 2011: Trial of lawsuit set in return of Russian boy
- July 30, 2010: Attorney: Returned Russian boy back in orphanage
- April 14, 2010: Driver says Russian boy seemed cheerful
- April 13, 2010: No charges yet against mom in adoption case
- April 12, 2010: Location crucial to charges in adoption case, DA says
- April 11, 2010: Questions continue to surround Shelbyville adoption gone wrong
- April 9, 2010: Local mother weighs in on Russian adoption process
- April 9, 2010: Shelbyville woman returns adopted son to Russia