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061418-blm-loc-1custody

Bloomington attorney Tristan Bullington, left, and his client, Amber Buck, leave the McLean County Law and Justice Center in June. 

BLOOMINGTON — A Bloomington mother will be leaving soon to travel to Boston to pick up her son following a judge’s order Wednesday that the boy’s father be arrested for failure to appear at a court hearing.

For the fifth time since Associate Judge Lee Ann Hill ordered him to appear in court with his 4-year-old son, Michael Cadena failed to attend the McLean County family court hearing. The judge ordered authorities to bring Cadena back to Illinois where he must post $25,000 to be released from jail.

After the hearing, Amber Buck said she is pleased with the court’s order that also gives her temporary custody of Michael "Mikey" Cadena Jr. The mother, who has not seen her son since Cadena left Illinois with him about eight months ago, hopes to leave soon for Boston.

"I'm sad it came to this but I'm excited to see Mikey," said Buck.

Buck's lawyer Tristan Bullington said Buck will work with a counselor to help the child adjust to his new life with his mother.

"This is the fourth or fifth time he has been ripped from his home in the last couple of years. Obviously this isn't the ideal way for things to happen," said Bullington.

Cadena was found in indirect contempt of court for his refusal to return to Illinois with the child.

In a series of recent court hearings, Buck has sought to have the boy's father arrested for his failure to return her son. Cadena's lawyer Adele Saaf had argued the arrest warrant should be stayed until a Massachusetts court hearings on Cadena's efforts to move the family court case to that state.

In a social media posting Tuesday, Cadena indicated he would not be in court and expressed concern for the judge's anticipated ruling.

Cadena claims the boy was emotionally and physically abused by Buck before a court awarded custody to the father. Buck, who is on probation for meth-related charges, said after a recent court hearing she has been drug-free for two years.

The child was placed in state custody until a court ruling returned him to his father last year. Buck was found fit as a parent eight months later.

Buck's travel plans will be finalized after some coordination with Massachusetts authorities who will assist her with retrieving the child, said Bullington.

Hill did not schedule additional hearings in the child custody case, saying she will wait for Cadena to be returned to the Illinois courtroom.


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Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny

McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.