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Ex parte Lucas

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

August 29, 2014

Ex parte Janel Melissa Lucas;
v.
Janel Melissa Lucas) (In re: Michael Todd Lucas

Released for Publication June 17, 2015.

Tallapoosa Circuit Court, DR-14-900018. Trial Judge: Thomas F. Young, Jr.

For Petitioner: Robert M. Echols, Jr., Birmingham.

THOMPSON, Presiding Judge. Pittman, Thomas, Moore, and Donaldson, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 619

PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS

THOMPSON, Presiding Judge.

Janel Melissa Lucas (" the mother" ) petitions this court for a writ of mandamus directing the Tallapoosa Circuit Court (" the trial court" ) to vacate its order denying her motion seeking to change venue of the underlying child-support-modification action to Talladega County and to enter an order transferring the action to the Talladega Circuit Court. For the reasons set forth below, we deny the petition.

The materials the mother submitted in support of her petition indicate the following.[1] The mother and Michael Todd Lucas (" the father" ) were divorced by a judgment entered by the Talladega Circuit Court in 2004. Pursuant to that judgment, the mother was awarded custody of the parties' minor children and the father was ordered to pay child support. On February 20, 2014, the father filed in the trial court a petition to modify his child-support obligation, asserting that one of the parties' children had been adopted by that child's stepfather. Accordingly, the father says, there has been a material change in circumstances warranting a modification of his child-support obligation. In his petition, the father averred that the parties had lived in Tallapoosa County more than three years.

On March 21, 2014, the mother filed a motion seeking to transfer the action to Talladega County, where the parties were divorced. In support of her motion, the mother stated that she and the children had lived in Tallapoosa County since March 12, 2012. Because she had not lived in Tallapoosa County for three years, the mother said, venue remained in Talladega County, and, therefore, she said, the father's action should be transferred to Talladega County.

In her petition for a writ of mandamus, the mother states that the trial court held a hearing on the motion and received ore tenus testimony. She also stated that a tape recording was made of the hearing. After the hearing, the mother submitted a copy of what she said was the last page of

Page 620

a lease she had signed on March 5, 2012, an addendum to the lease that she had signed that same day, and an unsworn statement from a man stating that the mother had lived with him in Sylacauga from 2005 until March 2012.[2] In the statement, the man said that the child he had had with the mother in 2009, five years after the parties divorced, had lived with the mother and him. The statement made no mention of the father's children.

On June 4, 2014, the trial court entered an order denying the mother's request to transfer the action to Talladega County. The mother then ...


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