A judge on Tuesday is scheduled to hear the latest dispute between the two sisters of the slain wife of former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman and their incarcerated brother-in-law's parents concerning visitation with their late sibling's two children.
Attorneys for Jeane Burgos and Carla Van Bastelaar filed court papers Monday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff on behalf of their 85-year-old father, Joao Burgos Filho. They want him to be able to spend more time with his grandchildren, 7-year-old Camila and 5-year-old Alec Beresford-Redman, during the Christmas holidays.
Filho was scheduled to arrive this week from Brazil for his first visit to California in two years.
"Some extra time is warranted in that the children have maintained regular contact with their maternal grandfather through Skype and look forward to being with him," the sisters' court papers state.
The producer's parents, David and Juanita Beresford-Redman of Gardena, remain guardians of the children while their son awaits trial for murder in Mexico in the death of his 41-year-old wife, Monica. Her body was found in April 2010 in a sewer at the Moon Palace Hotel in Cancun, where the two were vacationing without their children.
Burgos and Van Bastelaar have regular visitation with their niece and nephew, but must get permission from the paternal grandparents for additional time. The sisters want Beckloff to intervene because the additional time the sisters seek includes overnight stays by the children.
"The visitation order does not provide for overnights and my clients do not believe that extending overnights at this time is in the best interests in the children," the guardians' attorney, Rachel Silverman, stated in an Oct. 4 letter to the sisters' lawyer, Patricia Phillips. The letter is attached to court papers in the case.
But in a sworn statement, Burgos states that it makes more sense to have the children stay with her father -- who she calls "Vovo" -- overnight on a few days rather than spend time being driven back and forth between homes on consecutive days.
"My father is just as much the kids' grandfather as their current guardians," she states. "He loves them and they love him. "Unlike their paternal grandparents, who have an uninterrupted relationship, he has only limited time to be with these grandchildren."
Considering her father's age and the distance between Brazil and California, this may be the last time he makes the commute, Burgos states.
"We ask the court to give him the opportunity to make the most of it," she states.
But according to Silverman's letter, the guardians are willing to accommodate the sisters and their father to a point, but their request is "extremely overreaching" as requested.
"They (Camila and Alec) can certainly enjoy time visiting with him and becoming reacquainted to each other without adding overnights into the visitation," according to Silverman. "Joao will have plenty of opportunities to visit the children."