OF JUDGMENT: 07/19/2017
COUNTY CHANCERY COURT HON. FRANKLIN C. McKENZIE JR. JUDGE
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: RONALD W. LEWIS DANA LEIGH
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: SHERRY L. LOWE THOMAS T. BUCHANAN
BARNES, C.J., WESTBROOKS AND LAWRENCE, JJ.
Jeremy Hayes and Shanna Blakley Hayes were divorced in 2015.
Following a series of hearings regarding modification of
custody and contempt, the Wayne County Chancery Court awarded
Jeremy primary physical custody of his and Shanna's
daughter, K.H. The chancery court also found Shanna in
civil and constructive criminal contempt and sentenced her to
incarceration in the Wayne County Jail and to pay fines;
however, the court suspended execution of the sentence on the
condition that Shanna not violate its order. Shanna filed a
motion to amend or correct the trial court's findings of
fact and conclusions of law, which the trial court denied.
Shanna appeals. After review of the record, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Jeremy and Shanna were married in February 2013. Their
daughter, K.H., was born in August 2013. Shanna filed for a
divorce on fault grounds with an alternative request for a
divorce for irreconcilable differences on October 28, 2014.
In November 2014, Shanna filed a motion for temporary relief.
Jeremy filed a motion to determine custody in February 2015.
Shanna answered in April 2015. In October 2015, the parties
filed a joint motion for the court to enter a judgment of
divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences and for
the court to decide certain issues. On December 2, 2015, the
court entered the judgment of divorce. The final judgment of
divorce indicated that Jeremy had standard visitation and
that Jeremy was to pay Shanna $668 per month in child
support. Jeremy was also responsible for K.H.'s medical
costs not covered by health insurance, $59.50 per week for
child care, and $6, 500 for Shanna's attorney's fees.
The attorney's fees were to be paid at a monthly rate of
On December 3, 2015, Jeremy filed a motion to reconsider and
requested specific findings of fact and conclusions of law.
On December 14, 2015, Jeremy filed an amended motion for
citation of contempt and a notice of emergency hearing.
Jeremy alleged that Shanna refused some visitations and that
she posted negative things about him on social media. Jeremy
asked the trial court to modify primary physical custody of
K.H. to him and requested that law enforcement be allowed to
assist him with visitation. On December 15, 2015, the trial
court entered an order allowing an officer to be present
during the times Jeremy and Shanna exchanged K.H. The trial
court also enjoined Shanna from making negative posts about
Jeremy on her social media pages.
On January 5, 2016, Shanna filed a motion for citation of
contempt and requested specific findings of fact and
conclusions of law from the final judgment of divorce. Shanna
alleged that Jeremy was not in compliance with his
obligations for daycare payments or reimbursement of
attorney's fees. As a result, Shanna requested an order
for civil contempt and punitive damages. On February 2, 2016,
Shanna filed her second petition for a citation of contempt,
alleging that Jeremy had not paid for daycare or her
attorney's fees as ordered in the final judgment of
divorce. On February 18, 2016, a letter from the chancellor
clarified the obligations for daycare payments and overruled
Jeremy's motion filed in December 2015.
Also on February 18, 2016, Shanna filed for a preliminary
injunction, alleging that Jeremy did not properly administer
K.H.'s medication when she visited him. Shanna also
alleged that Jeremy had been physically abusive to K.H.
Shanna reported her allegations of sexual abuse to the
Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS). In the claim,
she requested that K.H.'s visitation with Jeremy either
cease or be restricted. She also requested that Jeremy pay
her attorney's fees. Finally, Shanna alleged that Jeremy
refused to communicate with her regarding K.H.
On February 23, 2016, Jeremy filed a motion to dismiss and a
motion for sanctions. Jeremy requested that the trial court
dismiss Shanna's motion for a preliminary injunction and
her petition for contempt. In the motion for sanctions,
Jeremy alleged that Shanna had filed frivolous charges
against him and refused some of K.H.'s visits with him.
Also on that date, the trial court entered an order granting
joint legal custody to the parties and continued the other
claims to an alternative date.
On February 29, 2016, Shanna filed a response and defenses to
Jeremy's motion to dismiss and motion for sanctions,
essentially denying all allegations. In that document, Shanna
admitted that she reported Jeremy to DHS and had denied
Jeremy visitation; however, she maintained that Jeremy would
not communicate with her regarding K.H.
On March 1, 2016, Jeremy filed a motion for a psychological
exam for Shanna, alleging that she exhibited wild and erratic
behavior. On March 21, 2016, Shanna filed a motion for a
psychological evaluation for Jeremy.
On April 5, 2016, Jeremy filed another motion for citation of
contempt and motion to modify custody alleging that Shanna
again refused visitation for K.H. to visit Jeremy. On April
14, 2016, Jeremy once again filed a complaint for citation of
contempt and a motion for emergency modification of custody.
In this complaint, Jeremy alleged that Shanna and her family
asked him to terminate his parental rights. After a hearing,
an agreed order was entered for both parties to undergo
On June 13, 2016, Shanna filed a motion for emergency relief,
alleging that Dr. Jennifer Whitcomb, a psychologist hired by
Shanna, stated that K.H. might have been sexually abused by
Jeremy. But, testimony at that hearing disclosed that
DHS's investigation regarding similar allegations was
closed due to lack of evidence.
On August 17, 2016, Jeremy filed another complaint for
citation of contempt and motion for emergency modification
after he alleged that Shanna left with K.H. and would not
return her. Jeremy requested an order for civil and criminal
contempt to be entered against Shanna and for the trial court
to sentence her to serve time in jail until he made up for
the visitation that he missed. Jeremy asserted that
Shanna's constant refusal of visitation was a material
circumstance that was adverse to K.H. As a result, Jeremy
maintains that this material circumstance would allow the
trial court to modify custody of K.H. to him-removing the
child from Shanna's primary custody.
On September 12, 2016, Shanna filed her answer to
Jeremy's complaint requesting the appointment of a
guardian ad litem (GAL) and other relief. On October 11,
2016, the trial court appointed Dana Bumgardner as the GAL.
In the GAL's initial report issued in 2016, she noted
that Shanna made several reports of abuse to DHS. These
reports caused K.H. to undergo multiple physical exams and
interviews. The GAL stated that Shanna disregarded the effect
that those exams and interviews would have on K.H.
Additionally, Shanna took pictures of K.H.'s private
parts, which the GAL reported directly influenced K.H.'s
behavior with Jeremy. The GAL believed that Shanna not only
failed to foster K.H. and Jeremy's relationship, but she
also attempted to directly and negatively impact it.
Ultimately, after her investigation, the GAL recommended that
the trial court find there had been a material change in
circumstances in Shanna's home that adversely affected
K.H. Accordingly, she recommended that the trial court find,
pursuant to an Albright ...