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Barton v. Barton

November 12, 1998

BEATRICE BARTON
v.
ROBERT EUGENE BARTON



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Pittman, Presiding Justice

ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/20/95

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. DON GRIST

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LEE COUNTY CHANCERY COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 11/12/1998

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

EN BANC.

¶1. This matter comes before the Court upon the granting of Robert Eugene Barton's petition for writ of certiorari. The Court of Appeals found that the special Judge, Chancellor Grist, was without jurisdiction to hear the matter and reversed and remanded the case to the Lee County Chancery Court for appointment of another special chancellor to hear the case.

¶2. The authority of Chancellor Grist, appointed as special Judge for this specific case, ended with the termination of the divorce proceeding. He did not have authority to hear matters related to contempt and modification of custody after a final judgment of divorce had been entered. Accordingly, we affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE AND FACTS:

¶3. On November 22, 1991, Don Grist, a sitting Chancellor for the Eighteenth Chancery Court District, was appointed as special Judge to hear the First Chancery Court District case of Barton v. Barton. Chancellor Grist was appointed because the defendant and counter-plaintiff, Robert Eugene Barton, was a member of the bar practicing in the First Judicial District and had pending cases before all three chancellors in the district. Neither party objected to this appointment.

ΒΆ4. On April 23, 1992, Special Chancellor Grist entered a final judgment of divorce. Beatrice was awarded primary care, custody and control of the minor children, Joshua Barton, born May 13, 1977, and Maria Barton, born ...


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