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The estranged husband of Jennifer Dulos, who has been charged in his wife's disappearance, wants to halt their divorce case because she's missing.
Fotis Dulos’ lawyers Norm Pattis and Richard Rochlin filed a motion Friday stating that Jennifer’s disappearance means their client hasn't been afforded “due process” when it comes to their divorce. They argued that Jennifers’ attorney should not be allowed to file motions while she is missing.
“Proceeding in any manner without the plaintiff deprives the defendant of his due process rights of cross-examination and his ability to conduct discovery from the plaintiff,” the lawyers wrote in a motion filed Friday, the Stamford Advocate reports.
“Obviously, Fotis wants to see his children,” Pattis said, according to the Connecticut Post. “We will address that in due course. In the meantime, we do not see how the divorce action can fairly and equitably proceed in her absence. Her counsel continues to chest thump in the apparent absence of a client. We are asking the court to stop the wasteful charade.”
Last week, Rochlin filed a motion arguing against Jennifer’s mom’s attempts to intervene in the estranged couple’s custody dispute. She has been caring for their five children. She is now seeking legal custody of them.
Jennifer filed for divorce from Fotis in 2017. The couple had been married for 13 years and have five children who range in age from 8 to 13. Jennifer moved out after finding out about the affair that her husband was having with Michelle Troconis, CNN reports.
She expressed fear of her husband in court paperwork.
“I am afraid of my husband,” she wrote in an affidavit tied to an order of custody filed in June 2017, according to the Stamford Advocate. “I know that filing for divorce and filing this motion will enrage him. I know he will retaliate by trying to harm me in some way.”
Both Fotis, 51 and Troconis, 44, have been charged with evidence tampering and hindering prosecution. They allegedly seen on video disposing of garbage bags, some of which contained bloody clothing, in trash receptacles. Police also said they found blood spatter and evidence of cleanup attempts at Jennifer's New Canaan home, according to the arrest warrants. They have pleaded not guilty.
Jennifer disappeared on May 24 not long after dropping off her kids at New Canaan Country School. Two of her friends reported her missing after she didn't show for appointments and wasn't heard from for about 10 hours.
Pattis recently suggested to the New York Post that Jennifer may have staged her disappearance, claiming she once wrote a book manuscript with a similar plot to Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel “Gone Girl.” That novel, which was also turned into a movie, is about a writer who fakes her own death to frame her husband. Pattis admits he never read the supposed 500-page manuscript. but said “this is a person who has a pretty florid imagination and motives to use it to hurt Mr. Dulos.”
A spokesperson for Jennifer’s family and friends denounced the suggestion.
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