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Baine v. Woods

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

May 24, 2017

JASON BAINE
v.
BRENDA WOODS

          Assigned on Briefs August 2, 2016

         Appeal from the Juvenile Court for Decatur County No. 05-JV-237 Ricky L. Wood, Judge.

         A father appeals the denial of his petition to modify a permanent parenting plan. The juvenile court found no material change in circumstance had occurred sufficient to modify the primary residential parent designation. The court also denied the father's subsequent motion to alter or amend the judgment. Because the father failed to file a transcript or a statement of the evidence, we presume that the evidence presented at trial supported the court's determination that no material change in circumstance occurred. Therefore, we affirm both the judgment of the juvenile court and the denial of the father's motion to alter or amend the judgment to conform to the evidence presented at trial. We also find that this appeal is frivolous.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Juvenile Court Affirmed and Case Remanded

          Samuel W. Hinson, Lexington, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jason Baine.

          K. Michelle Morris-DeLoach, Lexington, Tennessee, for the appellee, Brenda Woods.

          W. Neal McBrayer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John W. McClarty and Brandon O. Gibson, JJ., joined.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION[1]

          W. NEAL McBRAYER, JUDGE.

         I.

         On January 2, 2007, the Juvenile Court for Decatur County, Tennessee, approved a permanent parenting plan for Landon, the child of Brenda Stout ("Mother") and Jason Baine ("Father"). The plan designated Mother as the primary residential parent and awarded Father 158 days of parenting time.

         On May 8, 2013, the Tennessee Department of Children's Services filed a petition in the Juvenile Court for Henderson County, Tennessee, to adjudicate Landon and his half sister dependent and neglected and for an ex parte protective custody order based on an abuse report. The juvenile court issued an ex parte protective custody order that same day; the court removed Landon from Mother's home and temporarily placed him in Father's custody pending an adjudicatory hearing. At the preliminary hearing on May 29, 2013, the juvenile court found no probable cause for removing Landon from Mother's home and ordered custody of Landon returned to Mother under the terms of the existing permanent parenting plan.

         On July 11, 2013, Father filed a petition in the Juvenile Court for Decatur County, Tennessee, seeking to modify the permanent parenting plan. Father alleged that a material change in circumstance had occurred such that the court should modify the primary residential parent designation. Father alleged several material changes, including the strained relationship between Landon and his stepfather, the removal of the half sister from Mother's home, and Mother's interference with Landon's counseling. Father also alleged that Mother did not allow Landon "to compete in equine competition on a regular basis." On August 1, 2013, Father also filed a motion for temporary custody, alleging that Landon suffered from anxiety and depression as a result of the environment of Mother's home.

         Mother filed a response to Father's modification petition, denying that a material change had occurred, and a counter-petition for contempt. In her counter-petition, Mother sought to have the court hold Father in contempt for alleged multiple violations of the permanent parenting plan.

         The court heard evidence on Father's modification petition, his motion for temporary custody, and Mother's counter-petition for contempt over several days in 2014.[2] In a final order, issued on April 6, 2015, the court determined that no material change in circumstance had occurred that would justify a change in custody. The court ...


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