UPDATE: Circuit Judge Holly Meyer, who has taken over the Hunter Biden paternity/child support case in Independence County, ordered a hearing previously scheduled Tuesday to proceed, but he’s asked for a continuance.
Circuit Judge Don McSpadden recused from the case earlier this week for undisclosed reasons. Under the administrative plan for the four judges in that five-county judicial circuit, Judge Meyer of Heber Springs was next in line to pick up the case.
She has taken the case and in a two-sentence order filed this afternoon said a hearing would continue to be set at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Batesville. However, about 30 minutes later, Biden’s attorney filed a motion asking for a continuance.
Lunden Alexis Roberts is seeking a declaration of paternity by Biden of her year-old child and child support. McSpadden had said he’d address those motions at the Jan. 7 hearing. Biden’s attorneys have acknowledged results of a DNA test indicate he is the father. Roberts’ attorneys have asked that Biden be held in contempt for not adequately responding to requests for financial information.
Additionally pending are two intervention requests — from a Florida private investigator and from an Israel resident — claiming Biden’s past business dealings in Ukraine and China are relevant to the case. Hunter Biden’s past has become central in Republican responses to the impeachment of Donald Trump, though they have no apparent relevance to the Arkansas child support case, except to the extent he might retain any of the money.
All parties in the case are required to appear for a hearing on all pending motions, the judge’s order said. It was filed at 3:49 p.m.
At 4:19 p.m., the online court record system noted a filing by Biden’s attorney Brent Langdon seeking a continuance in the case. It said when McSpadden recused he’d said the Jan. 7 hearing was “off the docket.” He acknowledged Meyer’s order today, but said Biden had not received proper notice of Meyer’s reinstating the hearing. He said 20 days was required.
Langdon also said Biden had asked for a protective order for financial information, “which has been the subject of an extraordinary amount of attention by media and non-interested third parties.” He noted the motions for intervention by two partes “without any possible interest or standing” in the matters before the court.
He also said Biden was a California resident and “unable to appear on Jan. 7.”
Roberts’ attorney, Clint Lancaster, had originally told me he planned to be present Tuesday and prepared to litigate all pending motions. I’ve asked him further about the motion for a delay. No response yet from the judge.
UPDATE: In response, Lancaster said, first to Langdon referencing McSpadden’s remark that the hearing was off the docket:
It was an email. I am still reviewing it, but the email came after the order in which Judge McSpadden recused.