Circuit Court, DR-13-900186.02
PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS
Suzanne Bragg ("the mother") asks this court to
issue a writ of mandamus directing the Chilton Circuit Court
("the trial court") to vacate judgments awarding
custody of the mother's children ("the
children") to their father, Walter Alexander Roche, Jr.
("the father"), and relieving the father of his
child-support obligation. We grant the mother's petition
and issue the writ.
August 2013, the mother filed a petition requesting the trial
court to domesticate a Tennessee judgment divorcing the
mother and the father. She also requested the trial court to
modify provisions of that judgment relating to the
father's visitation with the children. The mother's
action was assigned case number DR-13-900186. In response to
the mother's petition, the trial court entered a judgment
domesticating the divorce judgment and modifying that
judgment so as to establish a new location where the parties
were to exchange the children before and after the
father's visitation periods.
2014, the mother filed a petition requesting the trial court
to increase the father's child-support obligation. That
action was assigned case number DR-13-900186.01, but
eventually was dismissed.
2014, the father filed a petition requesting the trial court
to hold the mother in contempt of court, to award the father
joint legal custody of the children, to modify the
father's visitation rights, and to decrease the
father's child-support obligation. The father's
action was assigned case number DR-13-900186.02 ("the
father's modification action"). Shortly thereafter,
the trial court entered an order in the father's
modification action appointing a guardian ad litem to
represent the interests of the children.
2016, the trial court, in the father's modification
action, entered a judgment entitled "order on show cause
and modification, " which stated:
"This cause coming on before this Court upon the
Petition for Contempt, Show Cause and Modification as filed
by the parties. The [f]ather appearing this date with [his
attorney], [the m]other appearing with [her attorney] and
[the guardian ad litem] appearing. Parties presenting their
issue, it is ORDERED as follows:
"1. That the father shall have the following visitation
with his minor children as follows: Each Thursday evening and
returning the children, during school session, to school on
"2. Each alternating weekend, from Friday until Monday
morning, returning the children, during school session, to
"3. Each alternating week during the summer break from
school, having the children always with their mother for the
entire week prior to the start of school for the regular
"4. The father shall pay the mother child support,
monthly, commencing June 1, 2016[, ] at the rate of $916.40,
the same being in compliance with Rule 32, [Ala. R. Jud.
"5. All other request[s] for relief, either from [the]
father or [the] mother, are hereby denied."
the mother and the father filed postjudgment motions
requesting the trial court to amend or clarify its judgment.
Those motions were not ruled upon within 90 days of their
filing and were, the mother ...