IN THE MATTER OF B.M., C.M., AND C.R. - Articles

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Posted by: Barry Kolar on Mar 19, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Rachael E. Putnam and Austin T. Rainey, Memphis, Tennessee for Respondent/Appellant C.R.M.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., William E. Young, and Ryan L. McGehee, Nashville, Tennessee for Petitioner/Appellee Tennessee Department of Children’s Services

Judge(s): KIRBY

This is an interlocutory appeal involving the trial court’s subject matter jurisdiction. The juvenile court entered an order declaring three children dependent and neglected; the order included a no-contact provision as to the father of one of the children. The mother appealed the juvenile court’s decision to the circuit court. After she filed the appeal to the circuit court, the father of the other two children filed a contempt petition in the circuit court asserting that the mother and the other father violated the no-contact provision in the juvenile court’s order. The mother filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that the circuit court was without subject matter jurisdiction to hear a contempt petition arising out of the juvenile court’s order. The circuit court denied the mother’s motion to dismiss but did not reach the merits of the contempt petition. The appellate court granted the mother permission for an extraordinary appeal under Tenn. R. App. P. 10, to address only the circuit court’s subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate the petitioner father’s contempt petition. After permission for the extraordinary appeal was granted, the circuit court held an evidentiary hearing and determined that the petitioner father’s two children were not dependent and neglected. The circuit court then vacated the juvenile court’s order as to those two children, including the no-contact provision. Under the circumstances, we find that the issue presented on appeal is no longer justiciable and that this Court improvidently granted permission for the Rule 10 appeal. Accordingly, we decline to address the issue presented and dismiss the appeal.

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