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Brooks v. Fields

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

October 15, 2013

RONALD BROOKS, APPELLANT
v.
JANICE FIELDS, APPELLEE

Page 787

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LEE COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/15/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. TALMADGE D. LITTLEJOHN. TRIAL COURT ORDERED APPELLANT TO PAY A LUMP SUM OF $15,000 FOR A VEHICLE FOR THE MINOR CHILD WITHIN NINETY DAYS AND PAY APPELLEE'S ATTORNEY'S FEES OF $1,750 WITHIN SIXTY DAYS.

DISPOSITION: REVERSED AND RENDERED.

FOR APPELLANT: JOHN PATRICK ROBBINS, KENNETH MAYFIELD.

FOR APPELLEE: RICHARD SHANE MCLAUGHLIN, D. KIRK THARP.

BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING, P.J., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 788

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

GRIFFIS, P.J.

¶1. In this child-support-modification case, Ronald Brooks appeals the judgment that ordered him to pay a lump sum of $15,000 for the purchase of a vehicle for his minor child's transportation to college and to pay Janice Field's attorney's fees. Finding error, we reverse and render the chancellor's judgment.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2. Brooks and Fields are the biological parents of Canary DashSherrel Brooks, born September 4, 1993. Fields filed a complaint to establish paternity. Thereafter, the parties entered into an agreed order of filiation and support, where Brooks was to pay Fields $175 per month in child support and $1,500 in back child support. Brooks and Fields would each be responsible for one-half of Canary's health-care expenses.

¶3. Thereafter, Fields filed a complaint for modification of child support. Fields alleged that Brooks was wilfully and continuously in contempt of court and not in compliance with the agreed order by not timely paying child support and one-half of the health-care expenses of Canary. To support the modification, Fields claimed that Canary had increased educational expenses due to extracurricular activities and her future college expenses. At an initial hearing, at which Brooks was not present, the chancellor ordered Brooks to purchase an automobile for Canary at a cost not to exceed $7,500, pay $400 a month in child support, provide health coverage to Canary, and pay seventy-five percent of her college expenses.

¶4. Brooks filed a motion to set aside the judgment due to a lack of service of process. After a hearing, the chancellor granted the motion. While this motion was pending, Brooks and Fields entered into an agreed order where Brooks voluntarily agreed to increase his child-support obligation to ...


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