Session April 26, 2017
Appeal from the Chancery Court for Dyer County No. 10-CV-195
Tony Childress, Chancellor
an appeal arising out of a petition to change the primary
residential parent and a petition for civil and criminal
contempt. The notice of appeal for the criminal contempt
finding was not timely filed, and the appeal is therefore
dismissed as to the criminal contempt. With respect to the
remaining issues, we remand this matter to the trial court
for the limited purpose of conducting an evidentiary hearing
regarding the timeliness of this appeal.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Appeal Dismissed and
Edward Eldridge, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Raymond Cass Ballard.
Vanedda Prince Webb, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellee,
Brandon O. Gibson, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Arnold B. Goldin, and Kenny Armstrong, JJ., joined.
BRANDON O. GIBSON, JUDGE
appeal arises out of a petition to change primary residential
parent and a petition for civil and criminal contempt.
Appellant Raymond Cass Ballard and Appellee Gertrude Cayabas
are the parents of a son, who was born in 2008. At the time
of the parties' divorce, Ms. Cayabas was named primary
2015, Mr. Ballard filed a petition for civil contempt,
criminal contempt, and modification of the permanent
parenting plan, asking to be named primary residential
parent. The trial court conducted a hearing on Mr.
Ballard's petition on July 20 and 21, 2016.
trial court entered multiple orders disposing of the claims
in this case. On July 21, 2016, the trial court entered an
"Order on Petition for Criminal Contempt, " wherein
it held that Ms. Cayabas was in criminal contempt and imposed
sentences for the contempt. On July 27, 2016, the trial court
entered an "Order" that merely attached the
court's findings of fact and conclusions of law on the
issues of criminal contempt but did not otherwise alter its
July 21 order.
July 27, 2016, the trial court entered an "Order on
Petition for Civil Contempt and Modification" that,
among other things, denied Mr. Ballard's request to hold
Ms. Cayabas in civil contempt, denied the petition to modify
the current parenting plan or the parenting schedule, denied
Mr. Ballard's request for attorney's fees, and
awarded Ms. Cayabas a judgment for attorney's fees and
expenses. The trial court filed yet another "Order"
on July 27, 2016, attaching the court's "findings of
fact and conclusions of law on the issues of civil contempt
and all modification issues tried before [the court]."
The trial court also filed a separate document entitled
"Conclusions of Law Regarding Attorney Fees" on
July 27, 2016, explaining its reasoning for declining to
award attorney's fees to Mr. Ballard and for awarding
attorney's fees to Ms. Cayabas. With the filing of these
four orders on July 27, 2016, all the claims between the
parties were resolved by the trial court.
August 3, 2016, the trial court entered a document entitled
"Conclusions of Law, " which provided, in its
Factors 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, and 14 listed in
Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-6-106(a), are neutral and
favor neither party. Factor 9 slightly favors Mr. Ballard due
to the fact that the child's minor sibling lives with
him, the close relationship these two siblings have with one
another, and the child's relatives on Mr. Ballard's
side of the family who live near Mr. Ballard. Factor 10
slightly favors Ms. Cayabas due to the fact that the parties
have been operating under the schedule set forth in the