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ALBERT "PETE" DAVIS v. SHAUN JERRELL WASHINGTON & SHNITA JOANNE WASHINGTON

AUGUST 01, 1984

ALBERT "PETE" DAVIS
v.
SHAUN JERRELL WASHINGTON & SHNITA JOANNE WASHINGTON, MINORS, BY BRINDA WASHINGTON JOHNNY, NATURAL MOTHER



BEFORE PATTERSON, C.J., DAN LEE AND PRATHER, JJ.

PATTERSON, CHIEF JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

In this paternity case the appellees, Shaun and Shnita Washington, minors, brought an action through their mother, Brinda Washington Johnny, in the County Court of Jackson County pursuant to Section 93-9-15, Mississippi Code Annotated (1972). They sought to have Albert "Pete" Davis declared their natural father. A judgment was entered in accordance with a jury verdict finding the appellant to be the father of the twin children.

The first of two assignments of error is that a reference to an alleged finding of paternity by the Youth Court of Jackson County was highly prejudicial to the defendant's case. In 1974, about one year after the twins were born, Ms. Johnny brought a neglect proceeding against Mr. Davis in the Youth Court of Jackson County. The order issued by the Youth Court Judge states in pertinent part, "The father of said minors, Albert 'Pete' Davis should be ordered and directed to pay the sum of $15.00 per week to the Jackson County Welfare Department . . . for the support and maintenance of his minor children . . ."

 At trial, Ms. Johnny's attorney, during re-direct examination, questioned her concerning the youth court order as follows:

 Q. Would you look at this and tell me if this is the order that you are referring to?

 Yes, it is.

 Q. And does it state in there anyway that Albert "Pete" Davis is the father of these children?

 A. Yes.

 BY MR. BANAHAN: I would offer the order as an exhibit to Mrs. Johnny's testimony.

 BY MR. DORSEY: Any objections?

 BY MR. DORSEY: Yes sir.

 BY THE COURT: State your objection.

 BY MR. DORSEY: I object on the grounds that is a purported order, that was not arrived at. . . It states in there of the finding of fact. . . Pete Davis is the father of said minors. If that is true, then we are going to give full faith and credit and should not be here now, because

 that is exactly what we are trying to determine now is the issue of paternity. This paternity was never held in Youth Court and it was (phonics) our defense to it. It never has been held there. Therefore, no purported order should be introduced here that ...


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