Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Burgett v. Thomas

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Fourth Division

January 17, 2017

CHARLES L. BURGETT, Appellant,
v.
TASHA R. THOMAS, Respondent.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri The Honorable S. Margene Burnett, Judge

          Before: Mark D. Pfeiffer, Chief Judge, and Thomas H. Newton and Gary D. Witt, Judges

          MARK D PFEIFFER, CHIEF JUDGE

         Mr. Charles L. Burgett ("Father") appeals, pro se, a judgment by the Jackson County Circuit Court ("trial court") dismissing the paternity and child custody lawsuit he brought against the mother, Ms. Tasha R. Thomas ("Mother"), of his purported natural child, Princess Ashe-Rena Thomas ("Child"). We affirm.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         In 2002, Father and Mother engaged in a sexual relationship that ultimately resulted in the birth of Child on June 16, 2003. Child has primarily resided with Mother for most or all of her life, residing in Johnson County, Kansas, for two years prior to the filing of Father's lawsuit in the State of Missouri. Child attended public school in Johnson County, Kansas. Father appears to have had some amount of contact with Child given that the Johnson County, Kansas, Department for Children and Family Services ("Kansas DCF") was notified of possible physical and/or emotional abuse involving both Father and Mother in 2013.

         As is relevant to the instant case, by order of the District Court of Johnson County, Kansas ("Kansas District Court"), Kansas DCF took Child into temporary protective custody on February 13, 2015, and the Kansas District Court later entered subsequent orders relating to Child in July 2015.

         In June 2015, while the Kansas District Court custody proceeding was still pending, Father filed the instant lawsuit against Mother in Missouri, alleging that Mother and Child live in Missouri and not Kansas. In addition to seeking a determination of paternity as to Child, Father also sought primary custody of Child, an official surname change for Child, and child support from Mother. A trial judge was assigned to the case on June 26, 2015.

         Mother was never successfully served with process in the instant case; instead, the process server assigned to the case reported that the Missouri address Father provided in his pleading was a "bad address" for Mother. Nonetheless, Mother voluntarily entered her appearance at a case management conference held on November 19, 2015.

         The trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing on December 1, 2015, to determine the issue of which state-Missouri or Kansas-had priority jurisdiction[1] to adjudicate Father's paternity suit pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act ("UCCJEA").[2]

         The trial court ultimately determined that it did not have the statutory authority to proceed with Father's case because Missouri was not Child's home state, nor had it been Child's home state within six months prior to the commencement of Father's suit, and a custody proceeding involving the Child had been commenced in Kansas that was still pending at the time Father filed the instant suit. Accordingly, the trial court dismissed Father's paternity suit without prejudice by Judgment dated December 1, 2015.[3]

         After the trial court's dispositive ruling on Father's petition, Father filed an application for change of judge on December 18, 2015. Father also filed a Rule 78.01 motion seeking a new trial on December 29, 2015. The trial court denied both the application for change of judge and the motion seeking a new trial.

         Father appeals.

         I. Trial ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.