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.

Blakney v. White

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

October 8, 2019

KAYLA NICOLE (WHITE) BLAKNEY
v.
JUSTIN TAYLOR WHITE ANDKAYLA NICOLE (WHITE) BLAKNEY
v.
JUSTIN TAYLOR WHITE

          Assigned on Briefs August 1, 2019

          Appeal from the General Sessions Court for Hardin County No. 8326 Daniel L. Smith, Judge.

         This is a consolidated appeal concerning a post-divorce action that involves the father's petition to modify the parties' existing permanent parenting plan. The trial court named the father as primary residential parent of the parties' child, increased the father's co-parenting time to 271 days per year, reduced the mother's co-parenting time to 94 days annually, and required that the mother's co-parenting time be supervised. The court further granted the father sole decision-making authority with respect to the child's education, non-emergency health care, religious upbringing, and extra-curricular activities. The mother has appealed. Having determined that the trial court failed to settle the differences between the parties' competing statements of the evidence, we vacate the trial court's judgment and remand this matter for the trial court to make the necessary findings required by Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 24(e) and transmit a proper supplemental record to this Court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the General Sessions Court Vacated; Case Remanded

          Bryan J. Petty, Selmer, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kayla Nicole (White) Blakney.

          Chadwick G. Hunt, Savannah, Tennessee, for the appellee, Justin Taylor White.

          Thomas R. Frierson, II, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which J. Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., and W. Neal McBrayer, J., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS R. FRIERSON, II, JUDGE.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Kayla Nicole (White) Blakney ("Mother") and Justin Taylor White ("Father") were divorced by final decree of the General Sessions Court for Hardin County ("trial court"), entered May 21, 2015. The parties had one child born of the marriage, M.W. ("the Child"), who was one year of age at the time of the final decree's entry. Attendant to the divorce, Mother and Father agreed to a Permanent Parenting Plan ("PPP"), which the trial court incorporated into its decree. Pursuant to the PPP, Mother was designated primary residential parent and awarded 280 days of co-parenting time per year with the Child. Father enjoyed the remaining 85 days annually with the Child. Father was also ordered to pay child support to Mother in the amount of $564.00 per month. All major decisions related to the Child required joint agreement of the parents, and mediation was the established means of resolution for any dispute.

         On June 23, 2017, Father filed a petition in the trial court, seeking to modify the existing PPP by reason of an alleged material change in circumstance that would, according to Father, necessitate his being named as primary residential parent of the Child. Father also filed a proposed permanent parenting plan, requesting that the trial court award him 341 days of co-parenting time with the Child and grant 24 days of co-parenting time to Mother annually. Father alleged, inter alia, that Mother had been under the influence of drugs in the Child's presence and that Mother had been hospitalized for a drug overdose. Father also averred that there was domestic violence in the home where the Child resided with Mother. On the same day, the trial court issued an "Ex Parte Emergency Custody Order and Restraining Order," setting a hearing for the next week.

         Following a hearing, the trial court entered an order on June 29, 2017, granting temporary custody of the Child to Father and requiring Mother's parenting time to be supervised by Mother's sister. Both parties were ordered to submit to hair follicle drug screens and to participate in alternative dispute resolution. Although the parties participated in mediation on August 17, 2017, the mediator's final report reflects that no issues were resolved.

         Upon Father's October 12, 2017 "Motion to Set Case for Final Disposition," the trial court conducted a hearing on November 20, 2017, and set the case for trial on January 8, 2018. On November 21, 2017, Mother filed a "Motion for Modification of Visitation" in order to "accommodate for more visitation during the upcoming holiday[s]." In response, Father filed an "Answer to Motion for Modification of Visitation." Following a hearing conducted on December 14, 2017, the trial court ordered residential co-parenting time for Mother over the holidays. Although a copy of this order does not appear in the record before us, Mother acknowledges in her appellate brief that her residential co-parenting time with the Child was to be supervised by either Mother's sister or Mother's husband.

         Following a January 8, 2018 bench trial, the trial court took the matter under advisement. Prior to the court's adjudication, Father filed a "Motion for Ex Parte Relief and for Contempt," wherein he alleged that Mother refused to return the Child following her residential co-parenting time and, consequently, was in contempt of the trial court's order. The trial court entered an "Ex Parte Order and Restraining Order" on February 20, 2018, authorizing law enforcement to "assist [Father] in the enforcement of this Ex Parte Emergency Custody Order and Restraining Order by taking any and all necessary action to ensure that custody of [the Child] is restored to [Father]." Mother responded by filing three more motions: a "Motion to Set Aside" the court's ex parte order, an "Answer to Motion [f]or Ex Parte Relief and for Contempt," and a "Motion to Dismiss Ex Parte Temporary Order of Protection." Father filed respective responses to Mother's motions.

         Following a hearing on the parties' pending motions, the trial court entered an order on March 16, 2018, (1) finding Mother in willful contempt of the previous orders of the court for failing to return the Child, (2) imposing a fine of $25.00, and (3) ordering Mother to pay Father's attorney's fees in the amount of $1, 500.00. The trial court also denied Mother's motions to dismiss the ex parte order and restraining order and her motion to set aside the same. The trial court concomitantly entered a new temporary parenting plan, temporarily designating Father as the primary residential parent.

         On March 29, 2018, the trial court entered an "Opinion" containing its findings of fact and conclusions of law. The court determined, inter alia, that a material change in circumstance had occurred and that it was in the Child's best interest to designate Father as the primary residential parent. However, the court found that Father's proposed residential co-parenting time was not in the Child's best interest. In addition, the court granted Father sole decision-making authority with respect to the Child's educational, non-emergency health care, religious upbringing, and extra-curricular activities. Although the trial court declined to award Father any additional attorney's fees, it taxed court costs to Mother. Counsel for both parties were directed to prepare a judgment, permanent parenting plan, and Tennessee child support worksheet, and to submit the aforementioned documents within ten days of entry of the "Opinion."

         On April 5, 2018, Mother filed an initial notice of appeal, appealing the trial court's March 16, 2018 "Order" finding Mother in contempt. On April 9, 2018, Mother filed a second "Notice of Appeal," seeking to appeal the trial court's March 29, 2018 "Opinion." On April 23, 2018, the trial court entered a "Final Order," incorporating its March 29, 2018 "Opinion," along with a Permanent Parenting Plan Order and child support worksheet, pursuant to its March 29, 2018 adjudication. The Permanent Parenting Plan Order provided that Father would receive 271 days of residential co-parenting time and Mother would receive 94 annual days of supervised, residential co-parenting time, with Mother to pay child support to Father in the amount of $85.00 per month.

         In preparation of the appeal, the parties filed the following motions and corresponding objections: on July 12, 2018, Mother filed a partial transcript of evidence; on July 16, 2018, Father filed an "Objection to Transcript as Filed," pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 24(b), concerning each of the appeals filed by Mother; on July 26, 2018, Mother filed a "Supplemental Statement of Evidence and Modification of Prior Transcript," which included several exhibits; on the same day, Father ...


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.