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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Aug 30, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Kristi M. Davis, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Billy W. Huffman and Lora D. Huffman.

Attorneys 2:

Keith A. Pope and W. Michael Kilgore, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Whitney Nichole Huffman Lewis.

Judge(s): SWINEY

This appeal arises from a dispute over grandparent visitation. Whitney Nichole Huffman Lewis (“Mother”) is the mother of the minor child Isaiah Huffman (“the 1 Child”). Billy W. Huffman and Lora D. Huffman (“the Grandparents,” collectively), father and stepmother of Mother, filed a petition in the Chancery Court for Loudon County (“the Trial Court”) to establish visitation rights with the Child. The Child had visited often with the Grandparents, but Mother ended the visits after a falling out with Mr. Huffman. Following a trial, the Trial Court denied the Grandparents’ petition after finding there was no significant relationship between the Grandparents and the Child and that there was no risk of substantial harm to the Child. The Grandparents appeal to this Court. We find and hold that while the Grandparents and the Child did have a significant existing relationship, the Grandparents failed to prove that cessation of this relationship would pose a danger of substantial harm to the Child. We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court as modified.