by: Jodie Fleischer Updated:
The battle over how often the parents of Dunwoody day care murder victim, Rusty Sneiderman, get to see his children, has taken another turn.
In court records filed Wednesday, his parents said his Andrea Sneiderman's attorneys have canceled all visitations with the children since her arrest last week.
Last month, Andrea Sneiderman’s attorneys told the judge she did not need to order visitation because the grandparents had been regularly allowed to Skype with their grandkids every week. The new motion asks the judge to order those visits to resume.
In an interview with Channel 2 Action News investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer in March, Don and Marilyn Sneiderman said they missed their grandchildren terribly.
"I would like them to remember us, I would like them to be proud of their dad," Don Sneiderman said.
After a jury convicted their mother's boss of murdering their father, Rusty, the Sneiderman grandparents filed for court ordered visitation, so they can help keep their son’s memory alive for the children.
"If they talk about him and speak well of him, and tell them what a wonderful guy he was, they'll remember," said Don Sneiderman in March.
Andrea Sneiderman has custody of her children, and has fought court ordered visitation, but allowed a weekly meeting over the computer, so the kids can see her late husband's parents. But those chats have stopped since her arrest last week. She is accused of murdering her husband, as well as insurance fraud and other charges.
On Monday, Don and Marilyn Sneiderman's attorney wrote they were “looking forward to their weekly Skype call with their grandchildren” and wanted to confirm it would still happen. The response from Andrea Sneiderman's attorney was, "Under the present circumstances there will be no Skyping at this time.”
In the filing, the grandparents' attorney calls it, “A retaliatory and punitive measure,” accusing Andrea of, “using her children as pawns.” The filing calls the action “morally repugnant and not in the best interest of the children.”
In an email response, Andrea Sneiderman’s attorneys said they, “would revisit the issue only after the bond hearing,” which is scheduled for Aug. 21.
"The question will be whether or not, how much they will let us. Not whether or not we want to be there, but whether they will let us," said Don Sneiderman in March.
Neither side was willing to talk about the latest filing. It also asks the court to order the Department of Family and Child Services to do welfare checks on the kids until a hearing is held.
Andrea Sneiderman requests deposition delay
The Sneiderman grandparents allege the cancellation of their Skype visits with their grandchildren was retaliation for their insistence on deposing Andrea Sneiderman on Friday as scheduled, despite her recent arrest.
The Dunwoody day care widow has asked a judge to delay the planned deposition, which would include questions regarding her parenting and her husband's murder.
Her in-laws filed for custody of her two children, ages 6 and 3, following her arrest last week. The children are currently living with their maternal grandparents.
A judge has indicated the children are facing no harm, and has not yet scheduled the motion for a hearing.
Andrea Sneiderman's attorneys asked to delay the deposition until after her bond hearing, Aug. 21, saying it would be unfair to record video of her in the jail and difficult to pass paperwork through a glass partition.
Criminal defense attorney Steven Sadow, who is not involved in the case, said her attorneys should try to delay the deposition indefinitely.
"I wouldn't let her say a single thing at a deposition. I wouldn't let her speak in a civil case. The criminal case takes priority," said Sadow.
Sneiderman is charged in the murder of her husband, Rusty, who was gunned down in the parking lot of their son's Dunwoody preschool in November 2010.
"She's already spoken in a courtroom and testified and probably the reason that she is under indictment is that testimony," said Sadow.
In that case, a jury convicted Andrea Sneiderman's former boss, Hemy Neuman, of pulling the trigger. He is serving a life sentence for the murder. She has denied they were having an affair, and any involvement in her husband's death.
"I think her attorneys are right to ask for the continuance. At the same time, I think the attorneys need to make it clear that she intends not to talk at the deposition and to take the Fifth Amendment if asked questions, to try to short circuit the whole deposition process," said Sadow.
Her attorneys have alleged that her husband’s parents’ attorney has a, “hidden agenda,” wanting to record the deposition inside the jail to use in a pending “wrongful death case to prejudice [Andrea] in front of the jury.”
Her attorneys want their sole focus to be preparation for her bond hearing.
Sadow said the civil cases are distractions.
"Because the grandparents obviously are attempting to obtain information to use against her, that would be a concern of mine. But I don't think it's a concern that you can control, and you make it worse by making an issue," said Sadow.
The judge has not yet ruled on whether to continue the deposition, or to order the Skype visits to resume.
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