ILNews

COA voids custody order in favor of father

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the grant of custody in favor of an Indiana father because the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act to make a custody determination.

Diamond Parks and Deante Rashon Tate had a child together out of wedlock in 2009. Parks put Tate’s name on the birth certificate, but paternity was not adjudicated until 2013. Parks moved to Mississippi with D.T. after a domestic battery incident.

In July 2011, she filed an action in Mississippi seeking Medicaid benefits and child support from Tate. A request for paternity determination and child support enforcement under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act was sent to Indiana, where the Madison County prosecutor filed a UIFSA action in the Indiana trial court.

Shortly after paternity was established, Tate sought custody of D.T. through the Indiana trial court. Parks had consented for D.T. to be in Indiana with Tate to attend a memorial service for Tate’s mother, but she never received notice of the motion for change of custody. It wasn’t until she came to Indiana and picked him up did she learn the trial court granted Tate full custody. He had listed his aunt’s address as Parks’ address for purposes of service of process.

The trial court denied mother’s motion to correct error as well as her emergency motion to vacate the custody order pursuant to Trial Rule 60(B)(6). The trial court ruled Parks didn’t establish that an emergency existed as alleged in the title of her motion.

Trial Rule 60(B)(6) does not require a showing of “emergency” circumstances, but just that a judgment be “void,” Judge Terry Crone wrote in In Re Paternity of D.T. (Minor Child) Diamond T. Parks (Mother) v. Deante Rashon Tate (Father), 48A05-1309-JP-486.

“Shortly after the paternity order was issued, Father filed a pro se motion under the same cause number seeking full custody of D.T., who was with him in Indiana pending attendance at a family memorial service. Curiously, the trial court adjudicated the custody request as part of the UIFSA cause of action, even though UIFSA specifies that the court lacks jurisdiction to make such a determination absent a stipulation between the parties. The record is devoid of documentation indicating any such stipulation, and Mother never received notice of the custody hearing. As such, she cannot be deemed to have stipulated to the trial court’s jurisdiction over the matter,” Crone wrote.

The judges also ordered UIFSA proceedings reinstated. The prosecutor dismissed them after custody was awarded to father.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.

ADVERTISEMENT