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J.P. v. G.M.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

July 28, 2014

J.P., Appellant-Respondent,
v.
G.M. and R.M., Appellees-Petitioners

Page 787

APPEAL FROM THE JAY CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Brian D. Hutchison, Judge. Cause No. 38C01-1307-MI-16.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ROBERT G. FORBES, Forcum & Forbes, LLP, Hartford City, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEES: CHRIS M. TEAGLE, Muncie, Indiana.

BROWN, Judge. VAIDIK, C.J., and NAJAM, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 788

OPINION - FOR PUBLICATION

BROWN, Judge

J.P. (" Father" ) appeals the trial court's order granting the petition for visitation filed by G.M. (" Grandmother" ) and R.M. (" Grandfather" and collectively " Grandparents" ), the maternal grandparents of his daughter M.P. Father raises two issues which we revise and restate as:

I. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion for a continuance; and
II. Whether the trial court erred in its order granting Grandparents visitation.

We reverse and remand.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

In September 2011, M.P. was born to Father and K.M. (" Mother" ). Father and Mother were married after M.P. was born, and Mother died in December 2012. Since Mother's death, M.P. and Mother's other child, C., lived with Father.

On July 9, 2013, Grandparents filed a petition for visitation with M.P. Grandparents alleged that they asked on several different occasions to " get her, have been told we can have her and at the last minute for different reasons could not get her." Appellant's Appendix at 7.

On July 29, 2013, Grandparents filed a request for a hearing, and the court scheduled a hearing for August 19, 2013. On August 13, 2013, an attorney filed an appearance on behalf of Grandparents and a motion for a continuance. The court granted the motion and rescheduled the hearing for August 20, 2013.

On August 20, 2013, the court held a hearing on Grandparents' petition for visitation and indicated at the start that it would also hear a case involving the guardianship of C. Father appeared without counsel, and when asked by the court whether he intended to be represented, Father stated: " I thought we were all just going to do it without an ...


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