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S.N.C. and J.H.C. v. J.R.D.

February 09, 1999

S.N.C. AND J.H.C. APPELLANTS
v.
J.R.D., JR. APPELLEE



Before Bridges, C.j., Payne, And Southwick, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bridges, C.j.

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/26/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. R. B. REEVES JR.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: FRANKLIN COUNTY CHANCERY COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: DISMISSED PETITION TO TERMINATE PARENTAL RIGHTS AND FOR ADOPTION OF MINOR CHILD

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 2/9/99

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

CERTIORARI FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

¶1. S.N.C. and J.H.C. (stepfather and natural mother) filed suit in Franklin County Chancery Court to terminate the parental rights of J.R.D., Jr.(natural father) and for adoption of the minor child by S.N.C. The chancellor found that the appellants failed to satisfy their burden by proving by clear and convincing evidence that J.R.D., Jr. had either abandoned the minor child or that he was mentally or morally unfit, as provided by Miss. Code Ann. § 93-15-103 (Rev. 1994). On appeal, S.N.C. and J.H.C. present the following issue for consideration: whether the chancery court ruling should be reversed because it constitutes manifest error and was not supported by credible evidence? Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶2. J.H.C. and J.R.D., Jr. were married on February 16, 1991, and eight months later, the minor child was born. The parties separated on March 15, 1992, and J.H.C. was granted a divorce on the grounds of habitual cruel and inhuman treatment on May 6, 1992. At the time of the divorce, J.R.D., Jr. moved to Midland, Texas to live with his parents. Both parties agreed to an order disposing of the issues of visitation and support which was dated October 27, 1992. *fn1

¶3. J.R.D., Jr. made several visits to see the minor child from the date of the divorce until the date of trial. Specifically, J.R.D., Jr. visited with the minor child in July 1992, summer 1993, Christmas 1993, and summer 1994. The parties dispute as to whether or not J.R.D., Jr. visited with the minor child on Thanksgiving 1994. *fn2 In addition, a visit was scheduled for Memorial Day 1995, ...


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