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JOYCE ELIZABETH DANIELS JOHNSON AND CLAUDE WAYNE DANIELS v. JERRY LADNER

SEPTEMBER 09, 1987

JOYCE ELIZABETH DANIELS JOHNSON AND CLAUDE WAYNE DANIELS
v.
JERRY LADNER



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, DAN LEE and SULLIVAN

ROY NOBLE LEE, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Joyce Elizabeth Daniels Johnson and Claude Wayne Daniels have perfected an interlocutory appeal from an order of the Chancery Court of Hancock County, ordering a blood test for Joyce Elizabeth Daniels Johnson, Claude Wayne Daniels, Jerry Ladner, and Jerry Wayne Daniels, minor, to determine the paternity of Jerry Wayne Daniels. The interlocutory appeal was denied by the lower court, and was granted by a justice of this Court, along with supersedeas.

Jerry Wayne Daniels was born January 26, 1978, to Joyce Elizabeth Daniels (Johnson). At the time of the child's birth, his mother was married to Claude Wayne Daniels, and they were, and had been, cohabiting as man and wife. The certificate of birth reflected those persons to be the mother and father of the child.

 Ladner filed a petition in the Chancery Court of Hancock County against the appellants, seeking to establish paternity in himself, i.e., that he is the natural father of Jerry Wayne Daniels, and, further, seeking revision of the child's birth certificate and for visitation rights. The appellants denied the allegations of the petition and set up as affirmative defenses the statute of limitations and laches. Appellee Ladner filed a motion for blood tests pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated 93-9-21 (1972) and requested an order that the appellants, the child, and appellee submit to blood tests.

 The lower court ordered the blood test and appointed a guardian ad litem for the child. Thereupon, the appellants

 filed a motion to reconsider prior to the entry of judgment, alleging that the appellee was barred by the statute of limitations and Mississippi Code Annotated 93-9-9 and 15-1-49 (1972), and that they should have been allowed to present evidence in response to the motion for blood tests.

 The chancellor overruled the motion to reconsider, stating that the court has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter, and that the court, on its own motion, determined that there was no necessity of any testimony to be taken, over the objections of the appellants.

 The lower court made no ruling dealing with the statute of limitations question.

 The criteria by which we determine whether to grant interlocutory appeals are set forth in several recent cases.

 We allow the appeal when we perceive that it may

 (1) Materially advance the termination of the litigation and avoid exceptional expense to the parties; or

 (2) Protect a party from substantial and irreparable injury; or

 (3) Resolve an issue of general importance in the administration of justice.

 See Sonford Products Corp. v. Freels, 495 So. 2d 468, 471 (Miss. 1986); Kilgore v. Barnes, 490 So.2d 894, 896 (Miss. 1986); Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co. v. Holland, 469 So.2d 55, 62-64 (Miss. 1985) (Anderson, J., Concurring); cf. State v. Caldwell, 492 So.2d 575, 576-77 (Miss. 1986); American Tobacco Co. v. Evans, 508 So.2d 1057 (Miss. 1987). The question we consider today falls within the second of these criteria, for if appellant is ...


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