Decisions – COA – June 13, 2017

Edward Parker Eldridge  v. State of Mississippi –  right to trespass instruction in burglary trial –  Eldridge was convicted of burglarizing a beach cottage in Biloxi and sentenced to 20 years with 12 suspended. Charles Flowers came home and found his house broken into.  A few days later it appeared to have been entered again and Flowers found   a casino player’s card with the name “Edward Parker Eldridge” on it.  When law enforcement contacted Eldridge, he was wearing one of Flowers’ shirts.  On appeal Eldridge argues he should have gotten a lesser included instruction on trespass.  The Court finds that no reasonable jury could have found him guilty of trespass and affirms.

J. F. G. and C. L. G. v. Pearl River County Department of Human Services – termination of parental rights – J.F.G. and C.L.G had three children.  In 2012, DHS received a report of sexual abuse of one of the children and drug use by the mother.  The children were placed in DHS custody.  The parents were arrested for  possession of a controlled substance.  The parents agreed to do certain things to get their kids back but failed.  Two years later the youth court decided that reunification was not going to happen and DHS filed a motion to terminate parental rights.  After a hearing in which it was revealed that the children had been living in pretty horrific circumstanced,  the court ordered that the parents’ rights be terminated. The parents appealed. The COA affirms.

Ronnie Ali v. Amy Kaye Townsend Ali – life insurance/visitation – Dr. Ronnie Ali  and nurse practitioner Amy Ali were married for seven years, had one child, and established several urgent care centers  before seeking a divorce. Amy  was awarded custody of the child, child support, and alimony.   The visitation order doesn’t contain any express permanent visitation for summer and holidays and the COA remands the case so this can be corrected.  Ronnie challenges the $5,500 a month alimony. The COA affirms this.  The chancellor ordered Ronnie to maintain a life insurance policy valued at $2 million, with Amy to receive $1.5 million and the minor daughter to receive $500,000 in the event of Ronnie’s death. The court agrees that this is excessive and remands on this issue as well.

In the Matter of the Estate of Vivian Byas, Deceased: Victor Byas and Mary Byas v. Paulette Byas  –  Vivian Byas died in 2014.  Her daughter Paulette Byas filed a petition to probate the will.  In the interim, the chancellor allowed the children to remove their personal belongings from Vivian’s house.   The locks were then to be changed and Victor Byas was charged with collecting rental income.  Paulette filed a motion for contempt claiming that both Victor and Mary had entered the house in violation of the court’s order.  After a hearing, the chancellor found Victor and Mary in contempt and fined Victor $250 and Mary $500.  The two were also responsible for attorneys fees of $677. The COA reverses on appeal.

Victor admittedly got the key to enter the house, but only after the fire in order to install an alarm system, to water Vivian’s plants, and to combat a rat infestation. There was no evidence that Victor “wilfully, deliberately, and contumaciously” ignored the court order. In fact, as previously stated, the chancellor recognized that Victor acted reasonably and with the right intent when trying to care for Vivian’s house.

And the testimony only showed that Mary was seen outside the house.  She testified she parked her car in the carport to deter burglaries.

Patrick Bradshaw v. Erica Moore –  custody – Erica had a child, L.M., born in 2009.  She was not married or even in a relationship with the child’s father.  Erica and the child lived with her mother and stepfather.  Patrick learned he was the father in 2011 but did not visit or pay support. Erica applied for benefits in 2011.  A paternity action was filed but was delayed for various reasons until 2014. After a trial in 2016, the court awarded Erica sole physical and legal custody and granted Patrick visitation. Patrick appeals. The COA affirms.

Lisa Collins v. Mississippi Department of Human Services –  child support –  Lisa Collins and her husband Ralph Summers had a child, Adam. in 1997.   They divorced when Adam was 18 months old.  Lisa remarried and Adam did not get along with his stepfather so Adam moved in with his father.  Ralph died when Adam was 13.  By then Lisa was married to her third husband.  Adam proceeded to live with various relatives.  At 16 he was living with his paternal uncle Victor and his wife.  They entered Adam into a program for emotionally disturbed children.  In 2014, MDHS S initiated an action against Lisa to establish a child-support order for Adam due to Victor being a recipient of services under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act for the support of Adam. Lisa claimed she should not have to pay child support because Adam abandoned his relationship with Lisa, made serious allegations against her, and refused to see her.  She also asked for Adam to be emancipated.  The chancellor ordered Lisa to pay fourteen percent of her adjusted gross income as child support, retroactive to November 20, 2014.  She appeals. The COA affirms.

Shanese Mosley v. Mississippi Department of Employment Security –  unemployment –  Mosley applied for unemployment in 2014.  MDES denied her claim after determining that she had failed to meet the monetary-eligibility requirements. The AJ  affirmed the decision of the MDES. Mosley appealed to the circuit court and then the Mississippi Supreme Court.  While the last appeal was pending,  MDES filed a motion in the supreme court, seeking a remand of the case to the MDES, so it could consider income
earned by Mosley in Tennessee which had not been considered previously.   After remand, the MDES ruled that she still earned insufficient base-period wages even after her wages in Tennessee were counted.  Mosley appealed.  The COA affirms.


Pro se PCR appeal affirmed:

Tim Turner v. State of Mississippi


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