FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The custody battle over the daughters of murdered Bonita Springs doctor Teresa Sievers once again played out in Lee County court Tuesday. This just days after a judge suspended the parental rights of her husband, Mark, who's charged with planning her murder.
There was a lot tension in the room when this case took bizarre turns as new allegations surfaced in the courtroom. Each side vocalized their argument about who should get guardianship of the Sievers children.
"One of the children either knows German, or is learning German, and the father has gotten a German dictionary," said a DCF representative. That father is Mark Sievers, and the state is concerned he's using phrases in German or possibly coded language to communicate with his daughters. "We had informed the father he cannot speak to the children in code or in an other language because these have to be screened letters. But he has persisted doing so."
Mark's attorney quickly defending his client. "There's nothing subversive going on, your honor. This is just micro management of parent-child time."
There weren't many moments of silence in courtroom 3a, until Mark Siever's attorney abruptly dropped new allegations in front of the judge. "What is concerning is apparently there are some allegations of the maternal grandmother referring to Carmie on several occasions as a little b****."
The judge said he would be meeting with the Sievers girls to talk about these allegations against Teresa's mother, who currently has custody of both children.
"This is not how caretakers are supposed to behave towards children," said Sievers' attorney.
The guardian ad litem told the judge she has no concern about Teresa's mother, but is concerned how Mark's tone changes when Teresa's mom is the one supervising calls between them. "He makes references to things where you know he's trying to say something but he's very aware he's being recorded."
Suggesting time with Mark's mother may not be in the girls' best interest. "Generally their behavior is much more disrespectful to their maternal grandmother when they return from the weekend with their paternal grandmother."
The case worker with DCF also brought up she has been redacting certain phrases in postcards from Mark to his daughters because of what she says are manipulative and unnecessary phrases he has been using to make Teresa's mother look bad.
Meanwhile, a motion hearing is set for July 11th. The next judicial review will take place on November 18th.