Harkins v. Fletcher, 56678

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
Citation499 So.2d 773
Docket NumberNo. 56678,56678
PartiesReginald James HARKINS v. Debra Carol FLETCHER.
Decision Date10 December 1986

Robert N. Brooks, Carthage, for appellant.

A.R. Wright, Jr., Wright & Phillips, Carthage, for appellee.

Before ROY NOBLE LEE, and SULLIVAN and ANDERSON, JJ.

ROY NOBLE LEE, Presiding Justice, for the Court:

Reginald James Harkins appeals from a judgment of the Chancery Court, Leake County, Mississippi, adjudicating him to be the father of Tonya Reshea Fletcher and ordering him to pay $200.00 per month child support to the mother, Debra Carol Fletcher. Appellant assigns three errors in the trial below.

I. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING INTO EVIDENCE THE HOSPITAL RECORD OF BLOOD TEST RESULTS.

Appellee introduced in evidence, over appellant's objection, a blood test report of tests conducted on appellant, appellee, and the child, Tonya Fletcher. No expert testimony from the physician performing the tests was introduced to guide the report of the blood tests into evidence, as provided by Mississippi Code Annotated Sec. 93-9-23 (1972), as amended:

The tests shall be made by experts qualified as examiners of blood types who shall be appointed by the court. The experts shall be called by the court as witnesses to testify to their findings and shall be subject to cross-examination by the parties. Any party or person at whose suggestion the tests have been ordered may demand that other experts, qualified as examiners of blood types, perform independent tests under order of court, the results of which may be offered in evidence. The number and qualifications of such experts shall be determined by the court.

Miss.Code Ann. Sec. 93-9-23 (1972).

In Davis v. Washington, 453 So.2d 712 (Miss.1984), the Court held that where blood test reports are admitted into evidence in the absence of the doctor expert who conducted the tests, this deprives the defendant of his right to cross-examination and is in direct contravention of Sec. 93-9-23. Davis held that blood test reports in that case were not properly authenticated and constituted inadmissible hearsay under the facts.

The lower court was of the opinion that the blood tests were required to be admitted in evidence, but, since the testing doctor was not available to testify, the court sustained the objection of appellant to its use and consideration by the court. Finding itself in a dilemma, the lower court in its opinion emphasized that:

The court does not consider the results of the blood test that are on file in this cause in arriving at its opinion that the defendant is the father of the child Tonya Reshea Fletcher, born to the plaintiff on February 27, 1984; but, rather on the corroborated testimony of the plaintiff and on the uncorroborated testimony of the defendant.

We think that under the facts and circumstances of this case, Assignment I should be, and is, rejected.

II. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT APPELLANT WAS THE FATHER OF THE CHILD.

Appellee testified that she met appellant at a local nightclub in January, 1981, and from that time until April in 1982, practically every week night and weekend appellant would visit her in appellee's home, Goodhope, MS. Further, appellee stated that in April, 1982, she moved from Goodhope to North Pearl Street, Carthage, MS, and appellant moved in with her at that address where they lived as man and wife; that they lived there until April, 1983, at which time she, appellant and two of the children of appellee moved to Highland Street in Carthage, MS. On February 16, 1983, appellant's wife was granted a divorce from him on the ground of adultery. The complaint for divorce filed by appellant's wife alleged that appellant's address was North Pearl Street, Carthage, MS.

Appellee further testified that in the spring of 1983, appellant acquired use of a trailer located in rural Leake County, where they stayed from time to time and that appellant remained in her home on Highland Street until September, 1983 when he returned to the home of his former wife. According to appellee, she became pregnant in May, 1983, by appellant and that during the year 1983, until appellant left in September, he was the only man with whom she had sex; and that appellant purchased Christmas gifts for the child, provided money to take her to a pediatrician and...

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18 cases
  • Mullins v. Ratcliff
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • November 25, 1987
    ...No. 56,389, dec. Aug. 26, 1987) (not yet reported); Brown v. Williams, et al., 504 So.2d 1188, 1192 (Miss.1987); Harkins v. Fletcher, 499 So.2d 773, 775 (Miss.1986); Dillon v. Dillon, 498 So.2d 328, 329 (Miss.1986); Will of Polk, 497 So.2d 815, 818 (Miss.1986). This Court must examine the e......
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    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • May 27, 1992
    ...Hospital, Inc., [525 So.2d 746, 753-54 (Miss.1987) ]; Brown v. Williams, et al., 504 So.2d 1188, 1192 (Miss.1987); Harkins v. Fletcher, 499 So.2d 773, 775 (Miss.1986); Dillon v. Dillon, 498 So.2d 328, 329 (Miss.1986); Will of Polk, 497 So.2d 815, 818 Mullins, 515 So.2d at 1189. The same cap......
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    ...UHS-Qualicare, Inc. v. Gulf Coast Community Hospital (Miss.No. 56,389, decided Aug. 19, 1987) (not yet reported); Harkins v. Fletcher, 499 So.2d 773, 775 (Miss.1986); Dillon v. Dillon, 498 So.2d 328, 329 (Miss.1986); Will of Polk, 497 So.2d 815, 818 (Miss.1986). This Court must examine the ......
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    • March 20, 1991
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