OF JUDGMENT: 02/12/2015
FROM WHICH APPEALED: FORREST COUNTY CHANCERY COURT HON. DAWN
H. BEAM, TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: BRANDON LARUE BROOKS
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: ALEXANDER IGNATIEV
GRIFFIS, P.J., ISHEE AND GREENLEE, JJ.
Rita Bradley appeals the chancellor's modification of
custody. We find no error and affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
¶2. Rita Bradley and John Donald Motes were divorced in
Hamilton County, Tennessee, on February 9, 2009. Rita was
awarded primary custody of their two minor children, JHM and
Both Rita and John are now remarried. Rita currently resides
in Petal, Mississippi, and John resides in Pelham, Alabama.
On August 11, 2009, John filed a complaint in the Chancery
Court of Forrest County, Mississippi, and requested a
modification of custody of the two minor children, as well as
other relief. During a hearing on May 1, 2012, the parties
agreed that John's request for modification of custody
would be held in abeyance and custody of both minor children
would remain with Rita until such time as John renewed his
request. A judgment was subsequently entered April 8, 2013.
On September 23, 2013, John filed a petition to modify child
custody based on various grounds. A two-day trial was heard
by the original chancellor on May 15, 2014, and June 4, 2014.
On June 4, 2014, after she had spoken with the minor
children, the chancellor advised the parties about a comment
JHM had made and asked if they wanted her to recuse. Rita
advised that she wanted the chancellor to recuse. As a
result, the chancellor stated she would recuse.
On June 5, 2014, the chancellor entered a temporary order
modifying custody. The chancellor awarded primary custody of
LHM to John for the remainder of the summer. Primary custody
of JHM remained with Rita. Thereafter, on July 11, 2014, the
chancellor entered an order of recusal, and the case was
On July 31, 2014, the newly assigned chancellor entered a
temporary order, which revised the earlier temporary order
entered by the original chancellor. The newly assigned
chancellor declined to modify custody of LHM on a temporary
basis and found that the judgment entered on April 8, 2013,
would remain in effect until trial.
The trial was held on September 3, 2014. At that time, JHM
was fifteen years old, and LHM was fourteen years old. The
parties stipulated that JHM elected to live with Rita, and
LHM elected to live with John. In his petition to modify
child custody, John sought custody of both JHM and LHM.