WINFIELD - A Putnam County woman who was trying to change her teenage son's last name allegedly lied to the court concerning information about the biological father and could now be held in contempt for perjury.
Christopher P. Cmiel, claims his ex-wife, Laura Walker Akers, never contacted him to let him know she was going to change their son's last name and also lied to the court. Cmiel claims his substantive and procedural due process rights were violated and that he has been deprived of his parenting rights.
Cmiel, the biological father of Christopher Aaron Walker Cmiel, 14, filed a petition against the name change of his son, stating the name change is not in the best interest of the child.
According to the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Cmiel by attorney Barbara Lynn Utt, Akers filed a "Petition to Change Name of Minor" on Oct. 17, 2006. At that time, she wrote that Cmiel had not had any contact with the child for years. "Any" was underlined.
Akers also testified under oath that she did not know Cmiel's residence and that her child support checks come directly from the government, because Cmiel was in the service, including other allegations.
According to the petition filed by Cmiel, he had tried numerous times to contact his son, but Akers had kept him from reaching the boy.
Also, Cmiel claimed the child support checks he sent were from his own account, with his address typed on the check. He has also lived at his current residence for more than ten years. Cmiel, who is employed by the West Virginia Army National Guard, claims his son has "physically been to the… place of employment."
Cmiel also claims he only learned of his son's name change when he saw his son's grades in December of 2006.
The petition filed also states that names change is a way to try to alienate the child from his father.
"Since (Cmiel) is unable to talk with or see his son because of (Akers') obstructive behavior and frustration of parenting time (Cmiel), one can only imagine what the young boy has been told regarding the name change," the suit says.
Putnam Circuit Court Judge Ed Eagloski concluded that Akers supplied false information on the petition and offered false testimony.
Eagloski also ordered that the child's name be changed back to Cmiel.
Shawn Bayliss is the counsel for Akers.