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Automatic modification violates custody statute, COA rules

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A trial court’s order automatically awarding custody of a minor child to the father was reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds the lower court’s decision violated the state’s custody modification statute.

The Tippecanoe Circuit Court issued a provisional order that primary physical custody would be awarded to the father of the minor child, C.A., if the mother did not relocate to Indiana by March 31, 2013.

Mother and father met and had C.A. while in high school. The couple never married but successfully co-parented the child until the mother moved to South Carolina to complete a college degree. Father continued visiting C.A. and paying monthly child support.

The mother finished her degree and opted to remain in South Carolina. Finding that permanent relocation to South Carolina was not in C.A.’s best interest, the trial court ordered that if the mother did not move back to Indiana by March 31, 2013, the father would be awarded primary physical custody on April 1, 2013.

In In re the paternity of C.J.A.: G.C. (mother) v. T.A. (father), 79A02-1302-JP-137, the Court of Appeals reversed the order. The court ruled that the language ordering the change in custody be automatically modified was inconsistent with the requirements of the state’s custody modification statute, Indiana Code 31-14-13-6.

However, Judge Elaine Brown dissented, arguing the trial court’s order was not a final judgment and had not disposed of all claims. Therefore, the Court of Appeals did not have jurisdiction over this appeal and should have dismissed.

 

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  1. It is amazing how selectively courts can read cases and how two very similar factpatterns can result in quite different renderings. I cited this very same argument in Brown v. Bowman, lost. I guess it is panel, panel, panel when one is on appeal. Sad thing is, I had Sykes. Same argument, she went the opposite. Her Rooker-Feldman jurisprudence is now decidedly unintelligible.

  2. November, 2014, I was charged with OWI/Endangering a person. I was not given a Breathalyzer test and the arresting officer did not believe that alcohol was in any way involved. I was self-overmedicated with prescription medications. I was taken to local hospital for blood draw to be sent to State Tox Lab. My attorney gave me a cookie-cutter plea which amounts to an ALCOHOL-related charge. Totally unacceptable!! HOW can I get my TOX report from the state lab???

  3. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  4. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  5. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

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