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13 Investigates: Confusing court orders prompt questions after altercation with Belvidere Police

A Belvidere man alleges excessive force against the Belvidere Police Department after a Father’s Day altercation left him bruised and bloody. 

At the center of the issue is a bitter custody battle between Katrina Ainley and Nick Wisely. According to court records, Wisely’s visitation rights were revoked on May 30, 2018.

Paul Ainley, the boy’s grandfather, says the family was gathering for a Father’s Day celebration when Wisely and police showed up at his door. With Wisely, were outdated visitation papers that dated back to 2013. Ainley says things turned violent with police after he told police he would not let his grandson go and that they needed to come back with a search warrant. 13 Investigates focused on this in its most recent report, but surrounding that coverage was confusion over who should have had custody of the boy.  

That confusion started on May 30, 2018 when Katrina Ainley and Nick Wisely appeared before a judge in a Boone County Courtroom, both asking for modifications to a custody agreement. A 22-page transcript of that court proceeding paints a picture of a bitter child custody battle between the two parents. But it’s the last two pages of that transcript that would ignite a firestorm. 

On that day, Judge John Young granted Wisely some parenting time, but as Wisely was leaving the courtroom there was some sort of outburst, and Judge Young revoked all of Wisely’s visitation rights, saying “The other order is just revoked. His motion for modification is heard and denied.” 

Following that, Judge Young put a line through the document and wrote “revoked” on the right side of it. Judge Young also said, but did not write down, that Wisely was not allowed to see his son until a court-appointed attorney gave the OK. 

But Wisely went to see his son anyway on Father’s Day, and he got police involved by showing them that 2013 court order. That’s when things got violent at the Ainley house. 

One day after that violent altercation with police, a new order was filed by Judge Young. This one was far more detailed, reading, “Any and all original and all copies, and specifically the carbon copy, of order (from) 5/30/2018 is revoked.” 

Wisely and Katrina wouldn’t see the judge again for more than a week after the incident with police. When they did, Judge Young had an apology, saying to Wisely’s attorney, “I used words from the bench I should not.” He later said, “I think I caused that kerfuffle.” 

Throughout that 34-page transcript from court, the judge repeatedly takes the blame, going on to say, “I don’t know what order it is that he gave to the police department to go and get the kids. If it’s the very old one that he thinks is still in place, my bad. If it’s the one I ripped up, his bad.” 

Later, he says, “I should have had a specific order that says his motion for modification is heard and denied. And a big court order: There is now visitation.” He goes on, “I was not very clear. I didn’t mean that it goes all the way back to the other one. I meant he gets no visitation until (the attorney) says that he’s clean and he can.” 

Following that court date, Nick Wisely was allowed to see his son again, with limited visitation rights. The court tells 13 Investigates that because this case is ongoing, no one from the court, including the judge, can legally comment on what happened. 

Josh Morgan

Station Manager/News Director

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