Appealed from the 21st Judicial District Court, In and for the Parish of Livingston, State of Louisiana. Case No. 81159. The Honorable M. Douglas Hughes, Judge Presiding.
Mary E. Heck Barrios, Denham Springs, Louisiana, Counsel for Defendant/Appellant, Brandi Ballard Adams.
Todd C. Comeaux, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellee, Guy Adams.
BEFORE: GUIDRY, PETTIGREW, CRAIN, THERIOT, AND DRAKE, JJ. J. Pettigrew, concurs. Drake - I dissent w/o written reason. Guidry, J. concurs.
[2014 0387 La.App. 1 Cir. 2]
Appellant, Brandi Ballard Adams, seeks reversal of an order to dismiss an interim judgment for child support and custody issued by the Twenty-First Judicial District Court. For the following reasons, we reverse, vacate the order, and remand for further proceedings.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The appellee, Guy Adams, filed a petition of divorce against his wife, Brandi Ballard Adams, on December 15, 1997. They had one daughter together during the marriage, who was a year old at the time the petition was filed. The trial court awarded joint custody while the divorce was pending. A judgment of divorce was signed by the trial court on April 27, 1998, which continued the custody order previously rendered.
On July 31, 1998, Ms. Adams filed a rule to set child support and temporary restraining order. The trial court held a hearing on the matters on December 11, 1998. Prior to completion, the trial court continued the hearing to March 22, 1999. The trial court granted joint custody designating Ms. Adams as the domiciliary parent. The trial court further awarded interim child support to Ms. Adams in the amount of $260.00 per month. The trial court stated the child support was temporary until the hearing could be resumed in March.
The record reveals that the hearing of December 11, 1998, was never resumed. Furthermore, the oral judgment rendered on December 11, 1998, was never reduced to writing. The record also reveals the trial judge recused himself on April 9, 1999. The second trial judge was recused on Ms. Adams's motion on May 5, 1999. A notice of telephone status conference was signed by the third trial judge and filed into the record on May 20, 1999.
[2014 0387 La.App. 1 Cir. 3] Following the filing of the notice of telephone status conference, the record is devoid of any activity until April 23, 2013, when Ms. Adams filed a motion and order to make past due child support executory,
a rule for contempt, and a petition to modify custody and child support. On June
4, 2013, Mr. Adams filed an exception raising the objection of no cause of
action. The trial court signed a judgment on Ms. Adams' rules on July 23, 2013.
The judgment held that the previous temporary custody and child support
arrangements that were orally ordered by the trial court
on December 11, 1998 remained in effect. The judgment further
held that the ...