News 4 Investigates: Dad's Justice? Follow-up - KMOV.com

News 4 Investigates: Dad's Justice? Follow-up

A quick follow-up to the dad who is being held in jail without bond for apparently not showing up for a juvenile court hearing with his teenage son.

Dale Sullinger Jr. is spending his sixth night in the Franklin County, Missouri jail. He insists that he thought the hearing was on the 31st, not the 21st. When he missed the 21st deputies took him into custody and hauled him off to jail. Sullinger says he was told he couldn't have a hearing until Judge David Tobben returns from vacation next week.

Retired judge Booker Shaw told me that Sullinger should be able to get a hearing anyway. Judge Shaw didn't want to second guess Tobben because Shaw doesn't have many of the facts in the case. However, Judge Shaw said he never held anyone in contempt of court during his 25 years on the bench.

In many cases, Judge Shaw said a judge will issue notice to an individual that he's going to have a hearing to consider contempt charges. Sullinger insists he didn't receive notice or have a hearing, he simply got handcuffed and taken to jail.

Sullinger does have a track record with other judges. He admitted that he was jailed for missing hearings in some traffic cases. Maybe that had a role in Tobben's decision. Sullinger insists he didn't have a problem with Judge Tobben until he was jailed last weekend.

Judge Tobben is unavailable for comment, and can't talk about a juvenile case anyway.

It'll be interesting to see what happens next week when he returns.

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