PORTLAND -- A Portland judge has ruled that a lawsuit against the stepmother of a missing Oregon boy can go forward, denying her request for a two-year delay.
Judge Henry Kantor said Wednesday the delay sought by Terri Horman, stepmother of Kyron Horman, wouldn't serve a purpose.
Terri Horman said the civil suit would be a proxy for a criminal investigation -- detectives have focused on her, although they haven't called her a suspect -- that would carry a lower burden of proof than a criminal trial.
The lawsuit was filed by Desiree Young, Kyron's biological mother. It seeks $10 million and says Terri Horman kidnapped Kyron, by herself or with help.
"Ms. Young gave the criminal justice system the chance to do something if it was going to do something," said Young's attorney, Elden Rosenthal. "Nothing has happened."
Terri Horman was the last person known to have seen Kyron. He was 7 when he disappeared June 4, 2010.
The suit will proceed today with a deposition by Rosenthal of Terri Horman's biological son, James Moulton, an 18-year-old who is set to begin military service later this month. Kantor said he would allow some "protections" for Moulton in the deposition, but declined to specify what they are until he writes an order he said will be filed late Wednesday.
Young appeared in court on Wednesday. Terri Horman did not, and has made rare appearances since moving out of Portland and the home she shared with Kyron, his father Kaine and the couple's daughter, Kiara.
Terri Horman's attorney, Peter Bunch, said the delay would give a criminal investigation time to play out.
"If it were an inactive case, we would be in a different position here," Bunch said. "This is in fact an active, ongoing investigation with a laser pointed at my client."
In a filing on Tuesday, Bunch said the investigation is moving forward: A grand jury continues to meet, and police have conducted interviews in Oregon and California in recent months.