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Adams v. Adams

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit

February 22, 2019

GUY ADAMS
v.
BRANDI BALLARD ADAMS

          Appealed from the 21st Judicial District Court In and for the Parish of Livingston State of Louisiana Case No. 81, 159 The Honorable Elizabeth P. Wolfe, Judge Presiding.

          Todd C. Comeaux Baton Rouge, Louisiana Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant Guy Adams

          Mary E. Heck Barrios Denham Springs, Louisiana Counsel for Defendant/Appellee Brandi Ballard Adams

          BEFORE: GUIDRY, THERIOT, AND PENZATO, JJ.

          THERIOT, J.

         Guy Adams appeals the "Interim Judgment on Rules" rendered by the Twenty-First Judicial District Court, which granted Brandi Ballard Adams' request for child support on an interim basis. For the following reasons, we dismiss the appeal.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY[1]

         Guy Adams ("Mr. Adams") filed a petition of divorce against his wife, Brandi Ballard Adams ("Ms. Adams"), on December 15, 1997.[2] They had one daughter 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.

         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. The only witnesses to testify at this hearing were Ms. Adams and her cousin, who often babysat the child. After the witness testimony, the trial court continued the case to March 22, 1999. In the interim, with no prejudice to either party, the trial court named Ms. Adams as the domiciliary parent. The trial court also ordered Mr. Adams to pay $260.00 per month to Ms. Adams, with the caveat that such payment would be "temporary" until the March 22, 1999 hearing and that they would "start from scratch" when the hearings continued in March. The trial court summarized its ruling by stating, "I guess really all we'd be doing is saying primary domicile and $260 a month child support."[3]

         The record reveals that the hearing on December 11, 1998 was never resumed. The record also reveals the original trial court judge recused himself on April 9, 1999. A second trial court judge was recused on Ms. Adams' motion in May 1999. A notice of telephone status conference was signed by a third trial court judge and filed into the record on May 20, 1999.

         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. These matters came for hearing on June 24, 2013 and were continued until August 19, 2013.

         On July 23, 2013, the trial court signed a "Judgment on Rules" that addressed the rule to set child support and temporary restraining order filed by Ms. Adams on July 31, 1998 and heard on December 11, 1998. The July 23, 2013 judgment reduced to judgment the orders orally rendered in court on December 11, 1998.

         On July 31, 2013, Mr. Adams timely filed a motion for new trial. In a judgment signed August 27, 2013, the trial court denied Mr. Adams' motion for new trial and continued the hearing on the matters filed by Ms. Adams (based upon her April 23, 2013 motion) to September 16, 2013. The hearing was later continued to October 29, 2013, on Ms. Adams' motion. No appeal was taken by Mr. Adams of the judgment rendered by the trial court on July 23, 2013, but on June 12, 2014, Mr. Adams sought to have the July 23, 2013 judgment declared null.

         On October 9, 2013, Mr. Adams submitted an ex parte motion for acknowledgement of abandonment. On October 23, 2013, the trial court signed an order to dismiss the matter, without prejudice, based on ...


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