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In re Abigail M.

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

November 13, 2014

In re ABIGAIL M., et al.

Session Date: November 13, 2014

Appeal from the Juvenile Court for Hamilton County Nos. 255424, 255426, 259400, 259402, 260546, 260547 Robert D. Philyaw, Judge

Justin G. Woodward, Ringgold, Georgia, for the appellant, Jessica B.

Jennifer Kay Peck, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, David M.

Rachel M. Wright, Hixson, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

John W. McClarty, J., Charles D. Susano, Jr., C.J., and Thomas R. Frierson, II, J.

MEMORANDUM OPINION [1]

PER CURIAM

The children, Abigail M. and Alyssa M., previously were declared dependent and neglected by order of the Juvenile Court and placed in the temporary legal custody of a relative. In December of 2013, the children were returned to the custody of the appellant, Jessica B. ("Mother"). Mother and the appellee, David M. ("Father"), subsequently filed competing petitions for custody of the minor children. By order entered on August 14, 2014, the Juvenile Court ruled upon the parties' competing petitions for custody by awarding custody of Abigail M. to Father and maintaining custody of Alyssa M. with Mother. The Juvenile Court also established co-parenting time for each child with the non-residential parent. On August 28, 2014, counsel for Mother filed a notice of appeal to the Circuit Court for Hamilton County from the August 14, 2014 order. On September 5, 2014, counsel for Mother filed the Notice of Appeal to this Court from the same August 14, 2014 order.

When a juvenile court acquires jurisdiction from a dependency and neglect proceeding, its exclusive jurisdiction continues until one of the following events occurs:

(1) the case is dismissed;
(2) the custody determination is transferred to another court;
(3) a petition for adoption is filed; or
(4) the child reaches the age of eighteen.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 37-1-103(c). In In Re D.Y.H., 226 S.W.3d 327, 331 (Tenn. 2007), the Supreme Court of Tennessee held that in the absence of the occurrence of one of the above events terminating a juvenile court's jurisdiction, "a subsequent decision by the juvenile court on whether to modify an initial custody order will also arise from and be a part of the dependency and neglect proceeding. . . . even if a petition for a change of custody does not reference the dependency and neglect hearing and even if it is filed years after the final order is ...


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