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AL BRYAN RUTLAND v. LUCY FAYE PRIDGEN

AUGUST 27, 1986

AL BRYAN RUTLAND
v.
LUCY FAYE PRIDGEN



BEFORE HAWKINS, P.J.; PRATHER & SULLIVAN, JJ.

SULLIVAN, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Two issues are raised by this appeal:

I. Should the chancellor have disqualified himself? and

 II. Were the chancellor's findings manifestly wrong when he awarded the permanent care, custody and control of two minor children to their maternal grandmother instead of to their natural father?

 Rutland is the father of Bryan Keith Rutland and Kimberly Lee Rutland. Pridgen is their maternal grandmother.

 Rutland was divorced from the mother of these children on July 9, 1981. There was a child support and property settlement agreement which gave the mother the custody and control of the children with liberal visitation in Rutland. Rutland paid $220.00 per month for support of

 the two children.

 The mother of the children took her own life on March 16, 1984, and ten days later Rutland filed a motion to modify the divorce decree and a writ of habeas corpus. His object was to obtain the custody of his children.

 Issue was joined by Pridgen who also sought the permanent care, custody and control of the minor children. The chancery court granted temporary custody of the children to Pridgen.

 Prior to the hearing on the merits Rutland filed a motion seeking to have Chancellor Paul Alexander disqualify himself on the grounds that in 1970 and 1971 in his official capacity as county attorney Chancellor Alexander had represented Pridgen in two separate uniform reciprocal enforcement support act complaints.

 The chancellor declined to disqualify himself and after a hearing on April 10, 1984, found that it would be in the best interest of the children to leave their primary care, custody and control with their maternal grandmother Pridgen, subject to the rights of visitation to be vested in their natural father Rutland. Rutland was ordered to continue to pay child support in the amount of $220.00 per month.

 I.

 DID THE CHANCELLOR ERR IN NOT DISQUALIFYING HIMSELF?

 Mississippi Code Annotated, 9-1-11 (1972), ...


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