Father files $1M suit against ex-wife for rescuing son from chores

David Yates Aug. 16, 2010, 4:57am

In mid June, Glen Engle had his 11-year-old son down on his hands and knees cutting grass with a pair of scissors. When his back was turned, the boy ran away from his father's home and called his mother.

Two months later, Engle filed suit against Judy Wooten, his ex-wife, and her current husband, Wil Wooten, claiming they caused him emotional grief by wrongly "rescuing" their son form chores and not letting him know where he was for more than three hours.

The suit was filed Aug. 4 in Orange County District Court.

According to the suit, on June 17 Engle had custody of his son until Father's Day. He had his child mowing the grass when the mower broke.

"Engle instructed (his son) to keep cutting the grass by hand scissors while the mower was being fixed," the suit states. "At approximately noon, when Engle's back was turned, (the child) ran away without notice."

The boy went to a friend's home and called his mother to pick him up. Engle spent the next three-and-a-half hours searching for his son, court papers say.

Around 3:30 p.m. the Wootens called Engle to let him know his son was with them and he would not be returning to his residence.

"Defendants tried to get (Child Protective Services) involved to justify their actions but were informed that (cutting grass by hand) did not rise to a level of abuse," the suit states, adding that the couple also unsuccessfully attempted to obtain a temporary restraining order against him.

Engle claims he was emotionally injured by not knowing where his son was for three-and-a-half hours and is suing for $1,000 for every "grief-stricken" minute he spent worrying about his son's whereabouts.

He is also seeking $840,000 in exemplary damages.

Engle, an Orange attorney, is representing himself.

The case has been assigned to Judge Buddy Hahn, 260th Judicial District.

Case No. D-100423-c

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