In re Guardianship of A.N.A., 011720 OKCIL, 117578

Docket Nº:117578
Opinion Judge:ROBERT D. BELL, PRESIDING JUDGE
Party Name:IN RE THE GUARDIANSHIP OF A.N.A., Minor Child, ROBYN HELTON, Petitioner/Appellee, v. THOMAS ADEY, Respondent/Appellant.
Attorney:Blake M. Feamster, HENRY + DOW, Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Petitioner/Appellee, Brian L. Jackson, GARDNER & JACKSON, PLLC, Vinita, Oklahoma, for Respondent/Appellant.
Judge Panel:BUETTNER, J., and GOREE, J., concur.
Case Date:January 17, 2020
Court:Court of Appeals of Oklahoma
 
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2020 OK CIV APP 7

IN RE THE GUARDIANSHIP OF A.N.A., Minor Child,

ROBYN HELTON, Petitioner/Appellee,

v.

THOMAS ADEY, Respondent/Appellant.

No. 117578

Court of Appeals of Oklahoma, Division I

January 17, 2020

Mandate Issued: 02/13/2020

APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF CRAIG COUNTY, OKLAHOMA HONORABLE JESS B. CLANTON JR., JUDGE

Blake M. Feamster, HENRY + DOW, Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Petitioner/Appellee,

Brian L. Jackson, GARDNER & JACKSON, PLLC, Vinita, Oklahoma, for Respondent/Appellant.

ROBERT D. BELL, PRESIDING JUDGE

¶1 In this guardianship proceeding, Respondent/Appellant, Thomas Adey (Father), natural father of A.N.A., born January 25, 2014, minor child, appeals from the trial court's order granting visitation rights to Petitioner/Appellee, Robyn Helton, the maternal aunt and former guardian of the child (Aunt). The trial court entered an order of October 15, 2018, terminating Aunt's guardianship of the child effective December 15, 2018, but granting Aunt post-termination visitation with the child. We hold that upon termination of the guardianship, the trial court was without subject matter jurisdiction to enforce the visitation order. Accordingly, the portion of the trial court's order granting Aunt visitation with the child following the termination of the guardianship is reversed. The remainder of the court's order terminating the guardianship is affirmed.

¶2 The child was born out of wedlock as the result of a romantic relationship between the child's natural mother and Father. During mother's lifetime, child lived with her mother and Aunt and had little to no contact with Father. Mother died November 7, 2017. Aunt initiated guardianship proceedings to continue caring for child. Father sought custody of the child through the guardianship.

¶3 On December 15, 2017, the trial court granted Aunt guardianship and ordered incrementally increasing visitation between Father and child. Father filed a motion to terminate the guardianship instanter. The trial court denied the motion but ordered the guardianship to expire December 15, 2018. Upon expiration, Father was granted full custody of the child. The trial court stated Father a "fit person" but held it was" not in [child's] best interests to have the Guardianship dismissed instanter, since she has always lived with aunt/guardian...

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