CONTINUING TUTORSHIP OF J.R., A MENTALLY RETARDED PERSON
APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 671-574, DIVISION
"O" HONORABLE DANYELLE M. TAYLOR, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, JEFFREY A. RAINES Jennifer C.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, LANA L'ENFANT Don M.
Richard Michael A. McNulty, Jr.
composed of Judges Marc E. Johnson, Robert M. Murphy, and
Stephen J. Windhorst
M. MURPHY, JUDGE
tutorship proceeding, appellant appeals the trial court's
ruling on the portion of a motion for new trial which
required that she consult with a court-appointed mental
health professional prior to any change in tutorship and
supervised visitation. For the reasons that follow, we affirm
the ruling of the district court in part, and reverse in
matter arises in the context of a tutorship proceeding for
J.R.,  an adult with a permanent diagnosis of
Down syndrome, who will require continuing tutorship
throughout his life. The parties to the action are J.R.'s
divorced parents, consisting of his mother, L.L., and his
father, J.R., Sr. The record shows that on April 3, 2009,
J.R.'s parents were appointed as his co-tutors, and his
sister, J.A.R., was appointed to be his undertutor. On
November 5, 2014, J.R., Sr. filed a motion to remove L.L. as
a co-tutor, citing concerns over J.R.'s developing
behavioral issues and L.L.'s decision-making regarding
J.R. when he was in her care. After several continuances and,
following a hearing held on January 21, 2015, the trial court
issued judgment on February 3, 2015, granting J.R. Sr.'s
motion, making him the sole tutor, and ordered that L.L. have
supervised visitation with J.R. once per week at the
"discretion" of J.R., Sr. The trial court further
ordered that "neither the tutorship ruling or the
supervised visitation shall be changed or modified unless
[L.L] seeks mental assessment/treatment with Dr. Daphne
August 26, 2015, L.L. filed a timely motion for a new trial,
which was ultimately continued without date by consent of all
parties on January 6, 2016. On October 21, 2016, L.L. moved
to set her motion for new trial for hearing. Following a
hearing on November 16, 2016, on March 17, 2017, the trial
court granted L.L.'s motion "on the limited issue of
the 'supervised visitation once a week at the discretion
of [J.R., Sr.], '" and a hearing date was set on
April 10, 2017, "for re-argument and further evidence on
that issue alone." On April 7, 2017, L.L. filed a motion
for appeal, which was granted on April 10, 2017.
sole assignment of error, L.L. asserts that the trial court
erred in denying the motion for a new trial as it relates to
the mandatory order contained in the judgment of February 3,
2015, requiring appellant to seek "mental
assessment/treatment" from Dr. Daphne Glindmeyer.
Specifically, L.L. argues that, "[t]he condition that
appellant must seek mental assessment/treatment with Dr.
Glindmeyer or she is prohibited from availing herself of
attempting to modify this harsh treatment is a clear abuse of
evaluate whether a modification of custody is in the
child's best interests, the court must be guided by La.
C.C. art. 134. In particular, La. C.C. art. 134(7) provides
that one consideration is "[t]he mental and physical
health of each party." Further, La. R.S. 9:331,
A. The court may order an evaluation of a party or the child
in a custody or visitation proceeding for good cause shown.
The evaluation shall be made by a mental health professional
selected by the parties or by the court. The court may render
judgment for costs of the evaluation, or any part thereof,
against any party or parties, as it may consider equitable.
B. The court may order a party or the child to submit to and
cooperate in the evaluation, testing, or interview by the
mental health professional. The mental health professional
shall provide the court and the parties with a written
report. The mental health professional shall serve as the
witness of the court, subject to cross examination by a
hearing on January 21, 2015, following the testimony of
several witnesses and the introduction of evidence, the trial
court made observations on the record about L.L.'s mental
state and its ...