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MARY E. FRIERSON PENTON v. BOB STEELE PENTON

FEBRUARY 22, 1989

MARY E. FRIERSON PENTON
v.
BOB STEELE PENTON



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, C.J., PITTMAN and ZUCCARO, JJ.

ZUCCARO, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

On September 12, 1985, Bob Steele Penton and Mary E. Penton were divorced in Pearl River County, Mississippi. Mary Penton was awarded custody of the three minor children of the marriage. Bob Penton was ordered to pay child support in the amount of $900.00 per month.

On January 29, 1987, Mary Penton filed a motion to cite Bob Steele Penton with contempt for failure to pay any child support from the time of the divorce decree. The chancellor determined that the Chancery Court of Pearl River County, Mississippi lacked personal jurisdiction to render a money judgment against the defendant, Bob Steele Penton, on September 12, 1985, when it granted the plaintiff, Mary E. Penton, a divorce and ordered child support. Mary Penton appeals this decision, assigning the following errors:

 1. That the chancellor was manifestly wrong and committed reversible error when he determined in his judgment and memorandum opinion that the appellant did not properly obtain personal jurisdiction over the appellee when she had the appellee served pursuant to Rule 4 (c)(1) and 4 (d)(1)(A) of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure.

 2. That the chancellor was manifestly wrong and committed reversible error when he determined that the mandates for pleadings under Title 93, Chapter 11 were not complied with.

 FACTS

 Mary Frierson Penton and Bob Steele Penton were married on August 12, 1967, in Pearl River County, Mississippi. The parties resided in Pearl River County, Mississippi, where their three children were born: Robert Wayne Penton, born May 20, 1969; Kristy Gail Penton, born June 4, 1971, and Ron Haven Penton, born October 30, 1979. The parties divorced in August of 1982, and then remarried on January 1, 1983, in Hancock County, Mississippi.

 The parties separated for the final time in March of 1985, when Bob Penton moved from Pearl River County, Mississippi to Bakersfield, California. The children and Mary Penton remained in Pearl River County. On June 28, 1985, Mary Penton filed a complaint for divorce in the Chancery Court of Pearl River County. On July 23, 1985, Bob Penton was

 personally served with the summons and a copy of the complaint for divorce by a deputy sheriff of Kern County, California sheriff's department.

 The divorce was granted by Chancellor Sebe Dale, Jr. on September 12, 1985. Mary Penton was granted the divorce. Bob Penton was ordered to pay $900.00 per month for the support of the three minor children. Certified copies of the final order of divorce and order for withholding signed by the chancellor were sent to Bob Penton by certified mail and received by him on September 24, 1985.

 On January 29, 1987, Mary Penton filed a motion to cite Bob Penton with contempt for failure to comply with the 1985 order of support.

 I.

 Was the chancellor manifestly wrong when he determined in his judgment and memorandum opinion that the appellant did not properly obtain personal jurisdiction over the appellee when she had the appellee served pursuant to Rule 4 (c)(1) and 4 (d)(1)(A) of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure?

 Bob Steele Penton was served with process in the 1985 divorce pursuant to Rule 4 (c)(1) and 4 (d)(1)(A), which state:

 Rule 4. Summons.

 . . .(c) ...


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