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In re England

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

April 5, 2017

IN RE: ENGLAND

         APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2016-01324, DIVISION "G-11" Honorable Robin M. Giarrusso, Judge

          JENKINS, J., CONCURS IN THE RESULT Richard L. Ducote COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT.

          Salvador I. Bivalacqua Lauren M. Bergeron GALANTE & BIVALACQUA COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE.

          Court composed of Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Rosemary Ledet, Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins.

          Roland L. Belsome Judge.

         This appeal is taken from the trial court's granting of James England's Petition for Tutorship. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         Facts

         James England and Alina Julia England were married in 2006 and divorced in 2015. Mr. and Ms. England are the parents of two daughters, S.E.[1] and C.E.[2]After a bitter custody trial, it was determined that joint, shared custody was in the best interest of the children; and Mr. England was declared the domiciliary parent.[3]

         Sometime in the course of the divorce and custody proceedings, the minor children were patients of Psychologist Marianne Walsh. Mr. England filed a lawsuit alleging that Dr. Walsh colluded with Ms. England to manipulate the custody proceedings and to alienate the children from him. The lawsuit seeking damages was filed by Mr. England in his individual capacity and on behalf of his minor children.

         Due to the divorce, Mr. England was required to file a Petition for Tutorship as the natural father of the two minors to proceed with the lawsuit against Dr. Walsh. The petition sought his appointment as the tutor and the appointment of his father, Dr. Leslie England, as the undertutor. The trial court held a hearing on the Petition for Tutorship and concluded that Mr. England should be appointed the minors' natural tutor and his father, Dr. England, should be the undertutor. This appeal followed.

         Assignments of Error

         On appeal, Ms. England maintains that the trial court abused its discretion in appointing Mr. England as the natural tutor of the minor children, and his father as the undertutor. Ms. England argues that an independent third-party should have been appointed as tutor over the property of the minor children.

         Discussion

         Mr. England petitioned for tutorship as the natural father of the minor children. However, Ms. England seeks to have an independent third-party appointed as tutor in accordance with La. ...


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