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Court Case Record Ex parte B.N. (IN RE: A.N. and L.N. v. B.N. and K.N.). 2140818 UID(1229)


Ex parte B.N. (IN RE: A.N. and L.N. v. B.N. and K.N.). Court Case Record

Court Case Number: 2140818


 
Case Number2140818
Case TitleEx parte B.N. (IN RE: A.N. and L.N. v. B.N. and K.N.).
Case TypeCivil
StateAlabama, AL
County
CourtCourt of Civil Appeals of Alabama.
Court Address
Phone
Field Date2/19/2016
Close Date

Parties

CounselNameType
Ex parte B.N. (IN RE: A.N.Appellee/Petitioner
L.N.Appellee/Petitioner
B.N.Appellant/Defendant
K.N.).Appellant/Defendant
Details
B.N. (“the father”) seeks review of an order entered by the Madison Juvenile Court (“the juvenile court”) on June 22, 2015. This is the second time the parties have been before this court. See B.N. v. Madison Cnty. Dep't of Human Res., 151 So.3d 1115 (Ala.Civ.App.2014)(“the previous appeal”).
In the previous appeal, this court set out the following relevant facts and procedural history.
“The father and K.D. (‘the mother’), who were residents of Mississippi, were divorced in January 2011 by a judgment (‘the divorce judgment’) of the Chancery Court of Marion County, Mississippi (‘the Mississippi court’). The divorce judgment granted the mother sole physical custody of the parties' child. The divorce judgment also provided that, because the father was incarcerated at the time, the child's paternal grandparents were granted the father's right to visitation and that, upon the father's release, he would assume his right to visitation, which would be supervised by the paternal grandparents.
“The record indicates that the mother moved with the child from Mississippi to Madison County, Alabama, in April 2012. The record further indicates that the mother married J.D. sometime after she moved to Alabama. The paternal grandparents assert that they were unaware of the child's location until they received information that the child was hospitalized in the intensive-care unit of Huntsville Hospital. The paternal grandparents and the Madison County Department of Human Resources (‘DHR’) assert that J.D. had physically abused the child. Information in the record indicates that J.D. and the mother were arrested for felony child abuse. DHR placed the child with A.G., the mother's brother, and E.G., A.G.'s wife (referred to collectively as ‘the custodians'), as part of a safety plan after the child was released from the hospital. The custodians are residents of Madison County.
“On September 24, 2012, the paternal grandparents filed a petition for temporary custody in the juvenile court in which they asserted that they were the proper parties to have custody of the child and that they had concerns regarding whether the custodians were fit to have custody. That petition was assigned case no. JU–12–860.01 (‘the paternal grandparents' action’). They further asserted that the petition was filed pursuant to § 30–3B–204, Ala.Code 1975, a part of Alabama's version of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (‘the UCCJEA’), § 30–3B–101 et seq., Ala.Code 1975.
“The custodians filed a motion to intervene and a petition for custody in the paternal grandparents' action on October 12, 2012, in which they alleged that the child was dependent and that they were the proper parties to be awarded custody. The paternal grandparents filed a motion for an immediate pendente lite hearing on October 30, 2012. The paternal grandparents then, on November 5, 2012, filed a motion to stay the proceedings in the juvenile court and to enforce an order from Mississippi court. Attached to that motion was an order of the Mississippi court, entered on November 1, 2012, granting the paternal grandparents an ‘ex parte emergency protective order for child custody without notice’ (‘the Mississippi order’).1
“DHR filed a motion to intervene in the paternal grandparents' action on November 5, 2012. On that same day, DHR filed a petition in the juvenile court in which it alleged that the child was dependent; that petition was assigned case no. JU–12–860.02 (‘the DHR action’). A shelter-care hearing was held before a referee on November 5, 2012, in the DHR action; the mother and her attorney, in addition to Janika Crum, the DHR worker assigned to this case, and Corrie Collins, the child's guardian ad litem, were present at that hearing. According to the report of the referee, the parties present at the hearing stipulated that the child was dependent, and the referee recommended that DHR assume custody of the child and that DHR be granted the authority to place the child with the custodians.
“On November 8, 2012, the paternal grandparents filed a motion to vacate the shelter-care order of the referee in the DHR action. On November 16, 2012, the juvenile court entered two separate orders ratifying the findings and recommendations of the referee and scheduling a custody hearing for December 13, 2012. The juvenile court also entered an order granting DHR's motion to intervene in the paternal grandparents' action, denying the custodians' motion to intervene in the paternal grandparents' action, continuing the safety plan pursuant to which the custodians retained custody of the child, and further providing that
“ ‘[c]onsistent with the requirements of the [UCCJEA] this Court communicated with the [Mississippi court] on November 2 and November 5, 2012, regarding the instant matter. The Juvenile Court of Madison County, Alabama shall exercise jurisdiction over this matter.’
“The paternal grandparents filed a motion to intervene in the DHR action on November 19, 2012; on November 26, 2012, the paternal grandparents amended their petition for custody, asserting that the mother and J.D. had been arrested for child abuse. On December 7, 2012, the father filed a motion to intervene in the paternal grandparents' action and requested that an attorney be appointed for him.2 The guardian ad litem and DHR filed their respective reports, which are included in the record, to the juvenile court on December 10, 2012; both reports recommended that custody of the child remain with the custodians.
“After a hearing on December 10, 2012, at which the juvenile court heard only arguments of counsel, the juvenile court entered an order on January 14, 2013, finding the child dependent. The juvenile court awarded DHR legal custody of the child and adopted DHR's permanent plan for the child, which was ‘return to parent with concurrent plan of relative placement.’ The juvenile court also denied the paternal grandparents' petition to intervene in the DHR action, but it stated from the bench that the paternal grandparents' action and the DHR action would be consolidated.3 DHR filed a motion to amend the January 14, 2013, order on January 28, 2013, in which it asserted that the order should have awarded custody of the child to the custodians rather than to DHR. The juvenile court entered an order on January 30, 2013, setting a hearing for March 22, 2013. On March 19, 2013, the juvenile court entered an amended order awarding legal custody of the child to the custodians.
“The father filed an affidavit of indigency on March 18, 2013, and an attorney was appointed for him on March 22, 2013. After a hearing on March 22, 2013, at which the juvenile court heard only arguments of counsel, the juvenile court entered an order retaining jurisdiction of the matter, denying the paternal grandparents' motion to stay all proceedings, setting the matter for review on April 4, 2013, and scheduling an evidentiary hearing for May 3, 2013. The juvenile court also entered an order on permanency and legal custody on that same day. That order, in pertinent part, provided that the permanency plan for the child was ‘permanent relative placement with transfer of custody to the relative with a concurrent permanency plan of adoption with no identified resources.’ That order also required the father to submit to drug screens, awarded the father and the paternal grandparents supervised visitation, and suspended the mother's supervised visitation. Legal custody of the child remain
“On June 18, 2013, the paternal grandparents filed a motion to continue in which they asserted that the Mississippi court had scheduled a hearing regarding the custody of the child. On June 21, 2013, DHR filed a motion to dismiss the actions or, in the alternative, to clarify the issues remaining before the court; DHR also filed a motion requesting that it be relieved from providing further services and that the juvenile court close ‘the case’ involving the child. A hearing was held on June 21, 2013, as previously scheduled; however, no evidence was taken and the juvenile court heard only arguments of counsel. The juvenile court entered a judgment in both actions on July 11, 2013.
“In that judgment, the juvenile court stated: ‘This Court has communicated directly with Chancellor Ronald Doleac of the [Mississippi court], on more than one occasion, and issued an order on November 13, 2012[,] pertaining to jurisdiction.’ The judgment reaffirmed that the child was dependent and awarded the custodians legal custody; the judgment also granted DHR's petition to be relieved of supervision and closed ‘the case’ for further review. The judgment awarded the paternal grandparents visitation and suspended visitation with the mother and the father until such parental visitation was approved by the child's mental-health provider and the guardian ad litem. The judgment also resolved ‘any and all remaining matters in’ the paternal grandparents' action and the DHR action.
1 “The petition for emergency relief that the paternal grandparents filed in the Mississippi court is included in the record. That petition was filed in the Mississippi court on October 29, 2012, and did not reference the paternal grandparents' action that had already been initiated in Alabama.
2 “The record includes a completed return of service of process for the father in the paternal grandparents' action. The record also contains a civil summons for the father in the DHR action, but it does not indicate whether service was completed.
3 “The record does not contain an order of the juvenile court consolidating the two actions.”
B.N., 151 So.3d at 1116–19.
The father timely appealed the juvenile court's July 11, 2013, judgment. Id. at 1119. After a discussion of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (“the UCCJEA”), § 30–3B–101 et seq., Ala.Code 1975, this court determined that it was not clear whether the Chancery Court of Marion County, Mississippi (“the Mississippi court”) had conceded subject-matter jurisdiction over the matter. Id. at 1121. This court further concluded that, although the juvenile court had stated in its judgment that it had communicated with the Mississippi court regarding the issue of subject-matter jurisdiction, the juvenile court had not complied with § 30–3B–110, Ala.Code 1975, which provides, in its entirety:
“(a) A court of this state may communicate with a court in another state concerning a proceeding arising under this chapter [i.e., the UCCJEA].
“(b) The court may allow the parties to participate in the communication. If the parties are not able to participate in the communication, they must be given the opportunity to present facts and legal arguments before a decision on jurisdiction is made.
“(c) Communication between courts on schedules, calendars, court records, and similar matters may occur without informing the parties. A record need not be made of the communication.