Justyna Zubko-Valva with photos of her late son, Thomas, 8. The autistic Long Island boy left to freeze to death in his garage — allegedly as “punishment” by his father — was sent to the house of horrors by a judge who ripped him from his mother’s custody without even holding a hearing, court transcripts obtained by The Post show.
Nassau County Judge Hope Schwartz Zimmerman’s fateful Sept. 6, 2017, decision to put 8-year-old Thomas Valva and his two brothers in the custody of their dad, Michael, was made on the fly, the shocking transcripts show, without any formal, court-filed accusation of wrongdoing against their mom, Justyna Zubko-Valva.
Michael Valva and his fiancee, Angela Pollina, now face murder charges in Thomas’ death.
Zimmerman even went so far as to bar Zubko-Valva from any contact with her children — a decision she made after listening to spoken, unsubstantiated complaints from the father’s lawyer and an attorney appointed to represent the boys, both of whom accused the mom of flouting court directives.
A month later, a lawyer who briefly represented Zubko-Valva tried to get the decision reversed, questioning whether Zimmerman had acted within her authority in switching custody from the mother to the father, according to court records.
“So my concerns are certainly the consequences of this order without a hearing; on what basis, I don’t know,” attorney Jason Barbara said.
Zimmerman stood steadfast. “Mr. Barbara pointed out that he believes I overstepped my role: I don’t believe I did; I don’t believe I did,” she said, […]
‘They’ll be safe’: Inside the court hearing that sealed Thomas Valva’s fate
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