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REGINALD JAMES HARKINS v. DEBRA CAROL FLETCHER

DECEMBER 10, 1986

REGINALD JAMES HARKINS
v.
DEBRA CAROL FLETCHER



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, SULLIVAN and ANDERSON

ROY NOBLE LEE, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Reginald James Harkins appeals from a judgment of the Chancery Court, Leake County, Mississippi, adjudicating him to be the father of Tonya Reshea Fletcher and ordering him to pay $200.00 per month child support to the mother, Debra Carol Fletcher.

Appellant assigns three errors in the trial below.

 I. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING INTO EVIDENCE THE HOSPITAL RECORD OF BLOOD TEST RESULTS.

 Appellee introduced in evidence, over appellant's objection, a blood test report of tests conducted on appellant, appellee, and the child, Tonya Fletcher. No expert testimony from the physician performing the tests was introduced to guide the report of the blood tests into evidence, as provided by Mississippi Code Annotated 93-9-23 (1972), as amended:

 The tests shall be made by experts qualified as examiners of blood types who shall be appointed by the court. The experts shall be called by the court as witnesses to testify to their findings and shall be subject to cross-examination by the parties. Any party or person at whose suggestion the tests have been ordered may demand that other experts, qualified as examiners of blood types, perform independent tests under order of court, the

 results of which may be offered in evidence. The number and qualifications of such experts shall be determined by the court.

 Miss. Code Ann. 93-9-23 (1972).

 In Davis v. Washington, 453 So. 2d 712 (Miss. 1984), the Court held that where blood test reports are admitted into evidence in the absence of the doctor expert who conducted the tests, this deprives the defendant of his right to cross-examination and is in direct contravention of 93-9-23. Davis held that blood test reports in that case were not properly authenticated and constituted inadmissible hearsay under the facts.

 The lower court was of the opinion that the blood tests were required to be admitted in evidence, but, since the testing doctor was not available to testify, the court sustained the objection of appellant to its use and consideration by the court. Finding itself in a dilemma, the lower court in its opinion emphasized that:

 The court does not consider the results of the blood test that are on file in this cause in arriving at its opinion that the defendant is the father of the child Tonya Reshea Fletcher, born to the plaintiff on February 27, 1984; but, rather on the corroborated testimony of the plaintiff and on the uncorroborated testimony of the defendant.

 We think that under the facts and circumstances of this case, Assignment I should be, and is, rejected.

 II. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT APPELLANT WAS THE FATHER OF THE CHILD.

 Appellee testified that she met appellant at a local nightclub in January, 1981, and from that time until April in 1982, practically every week night and weekend appellant would visit her in appellee's home, Goodhope, MS. Further, appellee stated that in April, 1982, she moved from Goodhope to North Pearl Street, Carthage, MS, and appellant moved in with her at that address where they lived as man and wife; that they lived there until April, 1983, at which time she, appellant and two of the children of appellee moved to Highland Street in Carthage, MS. On February 16, 1983, appellant's wife was granted a divorce ...


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