ILNews

Court prevents mother from relocating to Hawaii with daughter

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The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a trial court Wednesday that it is not in the best interests of a child to move to Hawaii with her mother and stepfather.

Mother H.H. and father A.A. were married, but separated when G.A. was born in 2006. They have both since remarried and A.A. has two children with his new wife, in addition to her children from a previous relationship.

Mother and her husband wanted to move to Hawaii after visiting on their honeymoon. She filed a notice of intent to relocate and before the court ruled, her husband J.H. accepted a job in Hawaii. The court denied her request, so she filed a second notice.  That was also denied.  The trial court ruled it was in G.A.’s best interest to stay in Indiana, pointing out the distance would make it difficult for her to see her father on a regular basis as she does now.

Mother appealed, and in H.H. v. A.A., 03A01-1308-DR-354, the Court of Appeals affirmed. The judges did find the trial court erred in ruling that the mother did not show a good faith and legitimate reason for proposing the relocation. Her husband acquired a job in Hawaii that would give them affordable benefits and he would work fewer hours. The appellate court found the mother’s stated reason for the move – to live and create a family life with J.H.  – was sufficient to prove the request was made in good faith.

But they agreed that the move was not in the girl’s best interests. The COA pointed to the trial court record that showed G.A. was thriving in school and was close to her father, his parents, and her half siblings and step siblings. They also noted that even though mother offered to pay for G.A. to visit her father, she would not have any income when she first moved because she would be starting a medical clinic that would take a few years to become profitable.
 

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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