IN RE THE VISITATION OF A.D. AND B.D., CANDY MILLER, Appellant-Petitioner,
ABBY DICKENS, Appellee-Respondent
APPEAL FROM THE RIPLEY CIRCUIT COURT, The Honorable Darrell M. Auxier, Special Judge, Cause No. 69C01-1304-DR-45.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: R. PATRICK MAGRATH, Madison, Indiana.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: JOHN L. KELLERMAN, II, Batesville, Indiana.
PYLE, Judge. NAJAM, J., and BAILEY, J., concur.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Paternal grandmother, C.M. (" Grandmother" ) appeals the trial court's denial of her petition for grandparent visitation, under the Grandparent Visitation Act, with A.J.M.D. and B.R.M.D. (collectively " the Children" ), who are the children of A.D. (" Mother" ). The parties entered into an agreement--which was then set forth in an agreed order--that allowed Grandmother to have supervised visitation with the Children under certain conditions during the two months pending a final review hearing. Following that hearing, the trial court denied Grandmother's grandparent visitation petition, finding that Grandmother had neither met her burden to rebut the presumption accorded to Mother as a fit parent nor her burden to show that visitation was in the Children's best interests.
Grandmother now appeals the trial court's order, arguing that the trial court erred by reviewing this case as a petition for grandparent visitation instead of a motion to modify grandparent visitation. Given the specific record before us on appeal, we conclude that the trial court did not err by ruling on this case as a petition for grandparent visitation and by denying Grandmother's petition.
Whether the trial court erred by denying Grandmother's petition for grandparent visitation.
Mother has two children--A.J.M.D., born in September 2009, and B.R.M.D., born in August 2011--born out-of-wedlock with G.M. (" Father" ). At some point prior to the final hearing in this case, Father established paternity of the Children.
In January 2013, Father " walked away" from the Children and no longer had any
contact with them. (Tr. 5). Prior to January 2013, Grandmother had seen the Children " a few times" when Father had visitation with them. (Tr. 5). After Father stopped his contact with the Children, Grandmother contacted Mother to ask for visitation with the Children, but Mother refused because of safety concerns (i.e., Mother was concerned because Grandmother had previously drunk alcohol around the Children and had once taken ...