JONATHAN D. GRIGSBY
Assigned on Briefs Date: October 4, 2016
from the Juvenile Court for Tipton County No. 14-JV-148
William A. Peeler, Judge No. W2016-00393-COA-R3-JV - Filed
January 31, 2017
custody dispute involves the child born to Jonathan D.
Grigsby (Father) and Alexandra Alvis-Crawford (Mother). In
July 2014, the parties were residing together when Mother
moved out of the house with the child and refused to let
Father see or talk to him. Shortly thereafter, Mother had
medical issues and was admitted to the hospital where she
remained until September 2014. During this time, the child
lived in the home of the maternal grandparents of the child.
Because the maternal grandparents refused to allow Father to
see or speak with the child, he filed a petition seeking an
ex parte order for immediate custody of his minor child.
Based on Father's petition, the trial court entered an
order finding that the grandparents were unlawfully keeping
the child from Father. The trial court gave Father immediate
temporary custody of the child. The trial court did not make
a permanent custody determination at that time. In December
2014, Mother filed a petition for custody. In January 2016,
the trial court held a hearing on Father's amended
emergency petition and Mother's petition. The trial court
found that it is in the best interest of the child to stay
with Father. Accordingly, the court designated Father as the
primary residential parent. Mother appeals. We affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Juvenile
Court Affirmed; Case Remanded
C. Lenow, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellant, Alexandra
Palazzolo-West, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee,
Jonathan D. Grigsby.
Charles D. SuSANO, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the
court, in which Richard H. Dinkins and Arnold B. Goldin, JJ.,
CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR., JUDGE
and Father were never married to each other. Mother has one
child from a previous marriage. The parties had a child
together in August 2011. In July 2014, while Father was at
work, Mother moved out of Father's home with the child.
Mother refused to allow Father to see the child. A few days
later, Mother went into septic shock and was hospitalized
until the end of September 2014.
Mother entered the hospital, the child stayed with the
maternal grandparents. During the time Mother was
hopitalized, the maternal grandparents refused Father's
requests to visit or speak with the child. Despite
Father's continuing efforts to make arrangements to see
the child, the grandparents told him that he would have to
wait until Mother got out of the hospital.
his inability to contact his child, Father filed an emergency
petition for an ex parte order for immediate custody of his
minor child. In the petition, Father alleged the following:
That on or about July 1, 2014 and without [his] knowledge or
approval, Mother left their residence and took their son with
* * *
That upon information and belief, the maternal grandparents .
. . have unlawful physical custody of the minor child.
That despite [his] numerous requests, the maternal
grandparents refused and continue to refuse to surrender the
child back to [him].
That since July 6, 2014, [he] has been denied any and all
parenting time with the child, including phone calls.
(Paragraph numbering in original omitted.)
on Father's petition, the trial court entered an order,
finding that Father is willing and capable of caring for the
child. The court also found that the maternal grandparents
were unlawfully keeping the child from Father and interfering
with his parenting time. Accordingly, the trial court awarded
Father immediate temporary custody of the child and set a
hearing to determine permanent custody.
filed a petition for custody in December 2014. In the
petition, she alleged that Father is not a fit person to care
for the child due to his history of drug use. She also
asserted that it is in the best interest of the child to be
with her and the child's half-brother. Following a
hearing in January 2016, the court found that it is in the
best interest of the child to stay with Father. As a
consequence of this, the court designated Father as the
primary residential parent. The court also imposed a
visitation schedule and ordered that the parties pay their
own attorney's fees.
raises the following issues, as ...