Lisa Payne, the former Batavia woman who lost her mother to an ex- husband's methamphetamine-fueled rampage, has a new advocate in her battle to gain custody of her daughter.
Payne's mother, Linda Duchaine, had custody of Payne's 13-year- old daughter when the elder woman was kidnapped and beaten to death by the girl's father, Joseph Foreman, in April 2004. Payne was living with Foreman in Batavia at the time. The girl and grandmother were visiting.
The loss of the girl's guardian threw her into the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services system.
Payne had a hearing earlier this month to check the progress of a transition plan to regain custody of her daughter. She will have another progress hearing in about six months. Payne abdicated custody to her mother when the child was 4 years old, but now wants the child back.
The not-for-profit Austin, Texas-based advocacy group Citizens Commission on Human Rights is trying to draw attention to Payne's plight. The group focuses on what it views as the abuses by government or medical agencies forcing children to take medication against their will.
DCFS guardians have required both Payne and her daughter take anti-depressant medications while they work through the emotional issues of the attack. Payne was beaten nearly into a coma by Foreman before he took off with Duchaine, leaving his daughter to find her bloody mother. Both mother and daughter have contested their need for medication and fought taking pills.
Jim Moore, director of research for the group, argues that the drugs the girl is being forced to take exacerbate her reckless behavior. She has run away from a Streamwood residential care center as well as her paternal grandmother's home and a Naperville teen center. Family court officials have said the trauma of the attack, an unstable home life and emotional issues have caused the girl to act out.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights does not supply attorneys for custody hearings, but hopes to use media blitzes to generate interest among legal groups willing to do pro bono work.