UPDATE: Brittany Sheehan is Being Railroaded

Jennifer Van Laar
6 min readDec 8, 2021


(Catch the backstory here, including documentation of Justin Manty’s criminal record and Nevada custody proceedings)

Brittany Sheehan is being railroaded, in my opinion, by Madera County authorities. Brittany has been the primary caregiver for her 6-year-old daughter since her birth, even attending college in Kansas on scholarship as a single mom while her daughter’s father stayed in California racking up criminal charges and jail time. Brittany’s daughter, T, spent more time with her dad, Justin Manty, over the last year, as it seemed dad was trying to clean up his life and could provide a safe place for visitation. Still, T’s dad would never return T on time after visitation, because if he had her he claimed he didn’t need to pay child support. So when he wanted T to visit in the summer of 2021, Brittany had him sign a notarized document documenting their agreement that T would attend a private school in Las Vegas, where Brittany lives and where T had attended pre-K, and that Justin would pay the tuition.

Justin refused to return T so she could go to school in Nevada, instead enrolling her in a public school in California without her mother’s permission. As soon as Justin let her know he wasn’t bringing T back, Brittany filed a motion in Las Vegas to force Justin to return her. Then, after receiving information that T was being emotionally and physically abused, Brittany drove to the school and signed T out — showing her driver’s license and all — and took her to Nevada. (The school had Brittany’s information as T’s mother on file.)

Now, the school knew that there were no custody orders in effect. There was no legal reason why Brittany couldn’t pick her up. Still, somehow they convinced a Sheriff’s detective that Brittany didn’t have the legal right to pick up her daughter and were able to get a warrant for kidnapping, robbery, and deprivation of custody.

Deprivation of custody?? For a child who hadn’t been returned from summer break? Okay…

It gets worse.

Brittany obtained a domestic violence restraining order against Justin after T reported she had in fact been emotionally and physically abused while there. Court records show Brittany has filed for and was granted at least two domestic violence restraining orders against Justin when T was an infant. Justin objected to the restraining order and was able to get it dissolved on December 1 — and the court forced Brittany to appear personally for that hearing, knowing there was a warrant for her arrest on the felony charges. So, the court dissolved the restraining order, Brittany was arrested, so then the judge dismissed the custody case and gave T to Justin.

Just like that. No discussion of actual rights or everything Brittany had filed between August and November. There was never once a hearing on the facts, even after California relinquished jurisdiction in October.

Brittany bonded out about 12 hours before a scheduled court appearance Tuesday morning in CA, and was unable to get there. She was released in Las Vegas at 9 pm Monday with no phone and no money, yet the detective said with a straight face during Tuesday morning’s court appearance that she was released at 2:07 p.m. Monday and could have gotten there, and her failure to be there was a reason that a NEW warrant for her arrest with a $250,000 secured bond should be issued. The Deputy DA stated that there was a public safety concern with Brittany on the loose, that she might go bust into the school or into Justin’s house to get T. The detective brought up a custody case Brittany was involved in with her older child, and that Brittany doesn’t have custody of that child anymore, but failed to bring up that the court there had forbidden JUSTIN from having contact with Brittany’s son. Kinda calls into question what was going on there.

Also, the detective was able to check Fresno County records for Brittany’s case with her son’s father, but missed the TWO domestic violence restraining orders Fresno county issued against Justin, to protect T and Brittany? He missed where Justin was arrested in January 2019 for shutting Brittany’s arm and leg in the door when she was attempting to pick T up from visitation? Cherry picking the facts much?

Essentially, the Deputy DA argued that the school was LOCKED DOWN and that Brittany broke in to obtain her daughter. She made no mention of what property was supposedly taken to support a burglary charge. She made no mention that there were ZERO custody orders in effect or that California had declined jurisdiction. She made no mention that there was a domestic violence protective order issued in Nevada. She argued that Brittany should be re-arrested and extradited instead of allowing her to appear early next week. She said Brittany’s failure to bring T to the courthouse for the December 1 hearing — which was about a domestic violence restraining order and their abuser would be there — showed that she was “hiding” the child. What kind of mom brings a kid to a courthouse unless ordered? And she wasn’t ordered to. The Deputy DA and the detective both falsely claimed that Brittany refused to tell them where T was and that even when they got in touch with the friend who was babysitting T, that the friend dawdled in bringing T back to the courthouse and they had to wait on her. In reality, the judge ordered T back to the courthouse by 3 pm, and that friend got T there by noon.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t relayed to the Court that Brittany had been told that since she was represented and had proactively placed the matter on the calendar, that it was okay to simply have her attorney appear for her. Nor was it argued to the Court that the state should have to state their basis for the kidnapping charge. So, the judge took the detective’s hearsay evidence (about other cases and what happened on Dec 1) and issued a warrant with a $250,000 bond.

Here is an unofficial transcript of the second half of the hearing.