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Appeals court affirms contempt over parenting-time violation

December 16, 2014

A mother who was found in contempt of court for failing to abide by court-ordered parenting time provisions got no relief Tuesday from the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Sandra Akiwumi, who now lives in Tampa, Florida, claimed her due process rights were violated and that evidence against her was insufficient to support a contempt citation. She argued that she provided an opportunity for her child’s father, Eric Akiwumi, to visit with their son while he was in Tampa.

The meeting never happened, and Marion Superior Judge James Osborn ruled Sandra Akiwumi was in contempt for knowingly violating parenting time orders. Mother also waived her objection to paying father’s attorney fees, the appeals court ruled.

“We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Mother willfully disobeyed the dissolution decree. Mother also argues that the trial court abused its discretion in finding her in contempt of the agreed order by failing to provide Father with her new employer’s name, address, and telephone,” Judge Terry Crone wrote for the panel.

“Mother admits that she did not provide Father with the required information. She argues that she forgot to give Father the information, which is not the same as willful disobedience. It is the province of the trial court to judge witness credibility, and as such it was free to disregard Mother’s testimony. We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Mother willfully disobeyed the agreed order,” the panel concluded.

The case is Sandra Akiwumi v. Eric Akiwumi, 49A05-1403-DR-129.






 


 

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