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D.C. v. C.A.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 19, 2014

D.C., JR., Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
C.A., Appellee-Respondent, J.D.A. and B.A., Appellees-Intervenors

APPEAL FROM THE MADISON CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Thomas Newman. Jr., Special Judge. Cause No. 48D04-1102-JP-32.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JILL A. GONZALEZ, Muncie, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEES: J.D.A. & B.A.[1]: MARK R. REGNIER, Bingham Farrer & Wilson, PC, Elwood, Indiana.

KIRSCH, Judge. FRIEDLANDER, J., and BAILEY, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 474

KIRSCH, Judge.

D.C., Jr. (" Father" ) appeals from the Madison Circuit Court's order denying his Petition for Change of Custody of his son, C.C. Concluding that Father's appeal was not timely filed, we dismiss this appeal.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On February 7, 2011, C.A. (" Mother" ) gave birth to C.C. out of wedlock and shortly thereafter C.C. began living with his maternal grandparents, J.D.A. and B.A. (" Grandparents" ). On February 18, 2011, Father filed a petition for paternity, in which he also requested custody of C.C. Grandparents filed a petition to intervene in the paternity action and petitioned for and were appointed as temporary guardians over C.C. Father then petitioned to intervene in the guardianship action, and the trial court joined the cases and transferred the guardianship action into this paternity proceeding.

Grandparents moved for temporary custody, and on June 20, 2011, the trial court entered an order establishing paternity in Father, granting Father visitation, and ordering C.C. to " remain in the custody, care, and control of the temporary guardians [Grandparents] pending a full hearing on all remaining issues." Appellant's App . at 76. The trial court also encouraged the parties to " work together toward an amicable resolution of all issues pending before [the] Court." Id. Three months later, on September 30, 2011, after the parties had reached an agreement and recited that agreement into the record in open court, the trial court entered an " Order on Agreed Entry," which resolved all pending issues, including custody, support, visitation, and health insurance. Id. at 98-100. The order specifically reflected the parties' agreement for Father and Grandparents to " enjoy joint legal custody of C.C." Id. at 98. The order also provided, " There is to be no child support due either from the [F]ather or from the [M]other." Id. at 99.

On June 26, 2012, Father filed a petition for change of custody, alleging that a continual and substantial change in circumstances had occurred since the previous shared custody order of September 2011. The trial court held an evidentiary hearing on Father's Petition on January 7, 2013. The trial court denied Father's Petition, thereby leaving the terms of the previous shared custody order in place.

The denial of Father's Petition for Change of Custody was entered into the CCS on January 31, 2013, with a notation that the order was signed January 17, 2013. Id. at 7. On February 8, 2013, Father filed a motion to correct error contending (1) " that the Court did not give its

Page 475

finding[s] of fact and conclusions of law laying out its reasons for its ruling as required by statute" ; and (2) " that the evidence did not support the Court denying the Motion to Modify." Id. at 181. In his Motion to Correct Error, Father also requested an extension " until March 31, 2013 to submit [a] memorandum in support of Motion to Correct Error[]." Id. at 180. The trial court granted the extension to file the memorandum of law in an order dated February 12, 2013. Id. at 8, 180, 185. Father timely filed his memorandum of law.[2]Id. at 190. Grandparents did not respond to Father's Motion to Correct Error, ...


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