FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
VERMILION, NO. 103141 HONORABLE DAVID BLANCHET, DISTRICT
Aucoin Aucoin COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT: Jacob
Danielle N. Thompson Paul J. deMahy The Thompson Law Firm
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Stormy Green
composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, Shannon J. Gremillion, and Van
H. Kyzar, Judges.
appellant, Jacob Roche, appeals a judgment of the trial court
designating the natural mother, Stormy Green, as the primary
custodial parent of their minor child and awarding Mr. Roche
visitation. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment
of the trial court.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Roche and Stormy Green are the natural parents of a minor
child, E.W.G., born on March 15, 2013. The relationship
between the parties has been tumultuous in the past until
finally eroding to the point that Mr. Roche engaged an
attorney to file the necessary paperwork to become the
domiciliary parent of the minor child. The trial court
temporarily granted ex parte custody to Mr. Roche on
March 23, 2017, which was later rescinded after Ms. Green
tested negative for illegal substances on a court-ordered
drug screen. Physical custody of the minor child was to be
shared on a seven-on-seven-off basis until a trial on the
parties were then ordered to attend an evaluation with a
local, court-appointed psychiatrist, Dr. Kenneth Bouillion.
After interviewing each of the parties and the minor child in
question, Dr. Bouillion produced a report opining that Mr.
Roche was better suited to be the child's domiciliary
parent. Ms. Green then deposed Dr. Bouillion, and the matter
was set for a Permanent Custody Hearing.
hearing was held over the course of two days on April 18,
2018 and June 13, 2018. The deposition of Dr. Bouillion was
introduced and filed into evidence, along with numerous
exhibits from both the plaintiff and defendant. The trial
court also heard testimony from multiple witnesses, including
Dr. Mona Reed, who specializes in child psychology and
testified for Ms. Green. The trial court took the matter
under advisement and issued extensive written reasons for
ruling on July 16, 2018, ultimately ordering joint custody of
the minor child with Ms. Green being maintained as the
Roche timely appealed the judgment of the trial court,
assigning two errors:
1.The trial court erred in selecting an expert witness to
assist it in its final decision, but erred when it,
essentially, disregarded that expert's opinion and then
characterizing that expert's opinion as "wrong"
or "mistaken" in determining an expert does not try
a case: the district judge does.
2. The trial court erred in choosing the natural mother as
the domicilary parent when it found the Louisiana Civil Code[
art. 134]'s factors to be used in making that
determination, favored the mother, ...