Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re V.M.H.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

July 18, 2017

IN THE INTEREST OF V. M.H., V.M.H., V.M.H., AND V.M.H.: VONRIO HAWKINS APPELLANT
v.
THE YOUTH COURT OF DESOTO COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/29/2016

         DESOTO COUNTY YOUTH COURT HON. CELESTE EMBREY WILSON JUDGE

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: JERRY WESLEY HISAW BENJAMIN DAVID MURPHY

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: ELIZABETH PAIGE WILLIAMS

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND WILSON, JJ.

          FAIR, J.

         ¶1. Vonrio Hawkins appeals a decision of the DeSoto County Youth Court adjudicating his four children abused and placing them in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Hawkins contends that, because the DeSoto County Chancery Court had previously entered an order granting him custody of the children, the chancery court had exclusive continuing jurisdiction over custody of the children. Hawkins also argues that the youth court lacked substantial evidence to find that the children were abused rather than simply disciplined. We find no merit to either contention and affirm.

         DISCUSSION

         1. Jurisdiction

         ¶2. Hawkins's challenge to the youth court's jurisdiction is made for the first time on appeal, though the chancery court order giving him custody does appear in the record. It notes that the mother of Hawkins's four children had three other children and did not have the means to support such a large family; she had surrendered Hawkins's children to him voluntarily. The chancery court order granted Hawkins custody of the children and provided for visitation by the mother. It was filed in June 2012. The youth court proceedings stemmed from a complaint that the children had reported abuse to their mother during visitation in December 2015. At the time of the hearing, the children were nine, eleven, twelve, and fourteen.

         ¶3. Hawkins contends that the youth court judgment is void because that court lacked jurisdiction over the subject matter - the custody of the children - and that this issue may be raised for the first time on appeal. See M.R.C.P. 12(h)(3).

         ¶4. We agree that Hawkins is contesting subject matter jurisdiction and that the issue can be raised for the first time on appeal, but we find it to be without merit. The boundary between the jurisdiction of chancery courts and youth courts under our law has been somewhat unclear at times, and indeed may still be under certain circumstances; but for the specific facts of this case, we see no difficulty finding jurisdiction in the youth court. Mississippi Code Annotated section 43-21-151(1)(c) (Rev. 2015) provides in relevant part:

The youth court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in all proceedings concerning . . . an abused child . . . except ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.