Mauldin v. Richter, BP-392

Decision Date28 October 1987
Docket NumberNo. BP-392,BP-392
Citation515 So.2d 1030,12 Fla. L. Weekly 2475
Parties, 12 Fla. L. Weekly 2475 Eleanor MAULDIN, Appellant, v. Pamela RICHTER and Paul Richter, Appellees.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Conrad C. Bishop, Jr., Perry, for appellant.

John R. Weed, Perry, for appellees.

BOWER, N. RUSSELL, Associate Judge.

Eleanor Mauldin appeals an order granting appellees' motion to dismiss her petition for visitation of her grandchild. We affirm.

On October 21, 1981 a final judgment of dissolution of marriage between appellant's son and appellee Pamela Richter was entered. Custody of the couple's child, appellant's granddaughter, was awarded to Pamela. The child's father, appellant's son, was given visitation rights. At the time there was no statutory provision for a grant of grandparental visitation rights in such cases, and accordingly none were sought or awarded.

Chapter 752, Florida Statutes was enacted, effective October 1, 1984, to address the issue of grandparental visitation rights. It provides, inter alia, that in the event of the dissolution of the marriage of the child's parents the grandparents, upon petition, could be awarded reasonable visitation rights. § 752.01, Fla.Stat. (1985). Pamela remarried and in April 1985, with the consent of both natural parents, a final judgment was entered whereby Pamela's new husband, appellee Paul Richter, adopted the child. Appellant was not notified of the proceedings. In March 1986, eleven months after the adoption became final, appellant filed a petition for grandparental visitation. In response appellees filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action. The trial court granted the motion, finding that pursuant to § 752.01(2) and § 752.07 Fla.Stat., appellant's failure to seek an award of visitation prior to the adoption precluded her from now seeking such visitation. We are compelled to agree.

Section 752.01, Fla.Stat. provides:

(1) The court may, upon petition filed by a grandparent of a minor child, award reasonable rights of visitation to the grandparent with respect to the child when it is in the best interest of the minor child if:

(a) One or both parents of the child are deceased;

(b) The marriage of the parents of the child has been dissolved; or

(c) A parent of the child has deserted the child.

(2) This act does not provide for grandparental visitation rights for children placed for adoption under chapter 63 except as provided in s. 752.07 with respect to adoption by a stepparent.

Section 752.07, Fla.Stat. provides:

When there is a remarriage of one of the natural parents of a minor child for whom visitation rights have been granted to a grandparent pursuant to s. 752.01, any subsequent adoption by the stepparent will not terminate any grandparental rights. However, the court may determine that termination of such visitation rights is in the best interest of the child and rule accordingly, after affording the grandparent an opportunity to be heard.

Therefore, a grandparent of a child who is subsequently adopted by a stepparent has no avenue to obtain visitation rights with that grandchild unless such visitation rights were previously secured by that grandparent following the parents' dissolution of marriage and prior to the child's adoption. Conceivably a grandparent might not feel any need to secure court ordered visitation rights before the time of the child's parent's remarriage or the stepparent's adoption of the child....

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4 cases
  • C--- E--- R---, Matter of, 16789
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • September 27, 1990 entertain an independent action to order visitation for a grandparent over the objections of the child's parents. Mauldin v. Richter, 515 So.2d 1030 (Fla.App.1987); Bush v. Squellati, 122 Ill.2d 153, 119 Ill.Dec. 366, 522 N.E.2d 1225 (1988); and Matter of Welfare of R.A.N., 435 N.W.2d 71......
  • Griss v. Griss, 87-1454
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • May 3, 1988
    ...are disputes between a grandparent and a son-in-law or daughter-in-law who has custody of the grandchild. See, e.g., Mauldin v. Richter, 515 So.2d 1030 (Fla. 1st DCA 1987); Beard v. Hamilton, 512 So.2d 1088 (Fla. 2d DCA 1987); Bates v. Wishart, 512 So.2d 977 (Fla. 2d DCA 1987) 2; Enslein v.......
  • Meeks v. Garner, 91-3696
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • May 11, 1992
    ...rights are, with regard to a non-parent, statutory, and the court has no inherent authority to award visitation. Mauldin v. Richter, 515 So.2d 1030 (Fla. 1st DCA 1987); Fischer v. Fischer, 544 So.2d 1079 (Fla. 2d DCA 1989). Since Jimmy Garner has no legal right to seek visitation or custody......
  • R.C.E., In Interest of, 88-1841
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • December 21, 1988
    ...upon adoption by a stepparent if the right of visitation had been established before the adoption occurred. See Mauldin v. Richter, 515 So.2d 1030 (Fla. 1st DCA 1987); Cf. Beard v. Hamilton, 512 So.2d 1088 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1987). Since in the instant case the order granting grandparental visit......

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