State ex rel. Sparks v. Reeves

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtTHORNAL; TERRELL
Citation97 So.2d 18
PartiesSTATE ex rel. Charles B. SPARKS, Appellant, v. Mrs. A. E. REEVES, Appellee.
Decision Date18 September 1957

Page 18

97 So.2d 18
STATE ex rel. Charles B. SPARKS, Appellant,
v.
Mrs. A. E. REEVES, Appellee.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Sept. 18, 1957.

David Lanier, Madison, for appellant.

John K. Folsom and Hopkins & Folsom, Tallahassee, for appellee.

THORNAL, Justice.

Appellant Sparks who was petitioner below in a habeas corpus proceeding involving the custody of two children seeks reversal of an order of the Circuit Judge denying the prayer of his petition.

The determining question is whether the showing made by the appellant who was the father of the children was sufficient to justify a transfer of custody from the appellee who was the grandmother of the minors.

An earlier phase of the case was here before. State ex rel. Sparks v. Reeves, Fla.1955, 81 So.2d 754, 755. Our opinion on the prior appeal adequately delineates the factual background. Subsequent to the prior

Page 19

opinion and on July 8, 1956, the appellant-father filed a second petition in the Circuit Court. By the prayed of this petition he requested the Circuit Judge to modify the original order of May 1, 1953, by which the custody of the children was awarded to the appellee-grandmother subject to change by further order of the Court. Our 1955 opinion affirmed an order of the Circuit Judge entered on December 10, 1954, by which the Judge declined to transfer custody from the grandmother to the father but again retained jurisdiction to enter such further orders as the welfare of the children might justify.

At the hearing on the petition now under consideration it appears that the appellant-father has diligently exerted every reasonable effort to justify the restoration of custody of his children. It is shown that he has regularly contributed financially to the support of the children, that he has purchased a home in Brevard County, is happily married, has a good job, earns a livable wage; he is morally stable, sober and apparently exceedingly anxious to have his children with him. It also appears that the appellee and her husband, the maternal grandparents of the children, have demonstrated themselves to be loving and devoted grandparents. They too are highly respectable people who obviously work hard to produce a living and who bestow upon their grandchildren such care and attention as has justified the respect and admiration of the community. On the basis of the showing made in July, 1956, however, the Circuit Judge remained of the view that the welfare of the children did not justify a change in custody and that the appellant-father had failed to show a sufficient change in circumstances between the order entered in December, 1954, and the hearing in July, 4956, to justify a change in custody. The Circuit Judge again declined to transfer the custody of the children to their father but retained jurisdiction to enter such further orders as might appear proper. Reversal of his order is here sought.

It is the contention of the appellant-father that he has now demonstrated himself to be worthy of enjoying the custody of his children and that he is able and desirous of providing for them a comfortable home and bestowing upon them the paternal care and affection that is both his privilege and his obligation.

The appellee on the other hand contends that she...

To continue reading

Request your trial
66 practice notes
  • Von Eiff v. Azicri, No. 96-3273
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 17, 1997
    ...precedent clearly provides that the rights and concerns of the child must ultimately control. 2 See State ex rel. Sparks v. Reeves, 97 So.2d 18 (Fla.1957). The critical question then becomes: can it be in a child's best interests to permit grandparent visitation when one or both of the pare......
  • Adoption of Baby E.A.W., In re, No. 93-3040
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • November 30, 1994
    ...368 (Fla.1984) (strong public policy in favor of unmarried natural father having custody of child); cf. State ex rel. Sparks v. Reeves, 97 So.2d 18 (Fla.1957) (biological parent has natural God-given right to custody of child; rule is older than common law). Moreover, under the adoption sta......
  • V.S. v. Dep't of Children & Families, 4D20-1833
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 9, 2021
    ...model parents.... Id. Florida courts have long recognized this fundamental parental right, as we noted in State ex rel. Sparks v. Reeves , 97 So. 2d 18, 20 (Fla. 1957) (citation omitted): "[W]e nevertheless cannot lose sight of the basic proposition that a parent has a natural God-given leg......
  • Beagle v. Beagle, No. 94-337
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 16, 1995
    ...of "fundamental" "constitutionally protected interest in preserving the family unit and raising one's children"); State v. Reeves, 97 So.2d 18, 20 (Fla.1957) (acknowledging "basic proposition that a parent has a natural God-given legal right to enjoy the custody, fellowship and companionshi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
66 cases
  • Von Eiff v. Azicri, No. 96-3273
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 17, 1997
    ...precedent clearly provides that the rights and concerns of the child must ultimately control. 2 See State ex rel. Sparks v. Reeves, 97 So.2d 18 (Fla.1957). The critical question then becomes: can it be in a child's best interests to permit grandparent visitation when one or both of the pare......
  • Adoption of Baby E.A.W., In re, No. 93-3040
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • November 30, 1994
    ...368 (Fla.1984) (strong public policy in favor of unmarried natural father having custody of child); cf. State ex rel. Sparks v. Reeves, 97 So.2d 18 (Fla.1957) (biological parent has natural God-given right to custody of child; rule is older than common law). Moreover, under the adoption sta......
  • V.S. v. Dep't of Children & Families, 4D20-1833
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 9, 2021
    ...model parents.... Id. Florida courts have long recognized this fundamental parental right, as we noted in State ex rel. Sparks v. Reeves , 97 So. 2d 18, 20 (Fla. 1957) (citation omitted): "[W]e nevertheless cannot lose sight of the basic proposition that a parent has a natural God-given leg......
  • Beagle v. Beagle, No. 94-337
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 16, 1995
    ...of "fundamental" "constitutionally protected interest in preserving the family unit and raising one's children"); State v. Reeves, 97 So.2d 18, 20 (Fla.1957) (acknowledging "basic proposition that a parent has a natural God-given legal right to enjoy the custody, fellowship and companionshi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT