PORTLAND Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed against her in connection with a custody dispute over a 5-year-old girl.

A South Portland man filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court earlier this month, saying Anderson interfered with his child-custody case.

Igor Malenko, the girl’s father, claims Anderson used her office inappropriately by speaking with Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz, who issued the child-custody order.

The lawsuits revolves arouynd a Jan. 27 incident in which Lori Handrahan, the girl’s mother, tried to take her daughter from the girl’s stepmother in Cape Elizabeth.

Handrahan, who lives in Sorrento and Washington D.C., had a judge’s order saying she is to have visits with the child on the first, third and fourth weekends of each month, and she hadn’t seen the child since May.

But the judge’s order also said the child’s father, Malenko, is allowed to make “any important decision” regarding the child.


Malenko determined that meant he could prevent Handrahan from having unsupervised visits.

Anderson was asked to look into the issue – she wouldn’t say by whom – and spoke with Judge Moskowitz. Anderson then communicated to the Cape Elizabeth police that Handrahan could take the daughter that weekend.

Rather than turn the child over to the mother, however, Cape Elizabeth police called the state Department of Health and Human Services to get direction, and the department instructed them to allow the child to stay with the father.

Malenko’s lawsuit says Anderson disrupted family unity, caused emotional distress and deprived him of his rights.

The motion to dismiss – filed on Anderson’s behalf by the state Attorney General’s Office – calls Malenko’s lawsuit frivolous. It argues that Anderson’s communication with the judge and police did not deprive Malenko of his state or federally protected rights.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.