Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ballard v. Cayabas

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

October 12, 2017

RAYMOND CASS BALLARD
v.
GERTRUDE CAYABAS

          Session April 26, 2017

         Direct Appeal from the Chancery Court for Dyer County No. 10-CV-195 Tony Childress, Chancellor

         Father filed a petition to change primary residential parent and for civil and criminal contempt. Because there was no material change of circumstance that affected the well-being of the child, we affirm the trial court's dismissal of Father's petition. We also affirm the trial court's decision not to find Mother in civil contempt.

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

          John Edward Eldridge, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Raymond Cass Ballard.

          Vanedda Prince Webb, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellee, Gertrude Cayabas.

          Brandon O. Gibson, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Arnold B. Goldin and Kenny Armstrong, J.J., joined.

          OPINION

          BRANDON O. GIBSON, JUDGE.

         This appeal arises out of a petition to change the primary residential parent and a petition for civil and criminal contempt. In a prior opinion, we determined that the appeal of the finding of criminal contempt was untimely. We previously remanded the matter to the trial court "for the limited purpose of conducting an evidentiary hearing regarding the timeliness of this appeal. On remand, the trial court entered "Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order" stating that the Father's notice of appeal was timely received by the trial court clerk. For inexplicable reasons, the trial court clerk did not stamp the notice of appeal as filed on the day it was received by his office. No additional transcripts were provided to this Court after our remand. Nonetheless, based on the trial court's factual finding, albeit apparently without the evidentiary hearing required by our remand, we have determined that the notice of appeal with respect to civil contempt and the petition to modify the parenting plan and parenting schedule is timely. Therefore, we proceed to address the merits of this appeal.

         Gertrude Cayabas ("Mother") and Raymond Cass Ballard ("Father") are the parents of a son ("the Child"), who was born in 2008. At the time of the parties' divorce in October 2011, Mother was named the Child's primary residential parent in the permanent parenting plan. In July 2015, Father 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 Father's petition on July 20 and 21, 2016.

         Father's petition raises a series of factual scenarios, which were largely undisputed at trial, upon which he relies to seek a contempt finding against Mother; in addition, Father maintains that these facts warrant a change in the Child's primary residential parent from Mother to Father. First, Mother took the Child to New Mexico, during which trip the Child was baptized without Father's knowledge or consent. Second, Mother obtained dental insurance for the child without consulting with Father and, relatedly, rescheduled a dental appointment for the Child without consulting with Father. Third, Mother failed to provide an itinerary for out of state travel with the Child, as required by the parenting plan, on at least two occasions. Fourth, Mother has failed to pay her half of the co-pays associated with the Child's medical visits on a number of occasions. With respect to the failure to pay the co-pays, Father sought a civil contempt finding against Mother, which the trial court denied. Father also alleged that Mother's failure to follow the permanent parenting plan was a material change in circumstance warranting a change in the primary residential parent. The trial court likewise declined to modify the parenting plan.

         ISSUES PRESENTED

         Father raises the following pertinent issues on appeal[1]:

1. Whether it was in the Child's best interest to change the primary residential custodian from the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.