S.L. and D.L.
J.L.C. and R.C. S.L. and D.L.
J.L.C. and R.C.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
from Coffee Juvenile Court (JU-15-85.02) (JU-15-86.02).
Christopher M. Kaminski, Judge
Lindsey Jared of Jared & Brunson, Elba, for appellants.
T. Reagan, Enterprise, for appellees.
appeal number 2180013, S.L. ("the paternal
grandmother") and D.L. ("the paternal
grandfather"), the paternal grandparents of A.W. and
X.W. ("the children"), twins born on May 18, 2011,
appeal from a judgment entered by the Coffee Juvenile Court
("the juvenile court") in case number JU-15-85.02,
awarding the childrens maternal grandparents, J.L.C.
("the maternal grandfather") and R.C. ("the
maternal grandmother"), visitation with A.W. In appeal
number 2180014, the paternal grandparents appeal from a
separate, but nearly identical, judgment entered by the
juvenile court in case number JU-15-86.02, awarding the
maternal grandparents visitation with X.W. In both cases, the
juvenile court denied the paternal grandmothers postjudgment
motion without having conducted a hearing on the motion.
Because we hold that there was probable merit to the motion,
we reverse the juvenile courts orders denying the paternal
grandmothers postjudgment motion.
undisputed that the children had previously been the subject
of dependency actions in the juvenile court in which the
paternal grandparents were awarded custody of the children on
October 27, 2015.
February 21, 2018, the maternal grandparents filed in the
Coffee Circuit Court ("the circuit court") a
petition seeking grandparent visitation with the children. On
March 19, 2018, the paternal grandparents filed a pro se
answer in the circuit court. Upon the paternal grandparents
motion, the circuit court transferred the case to the
juvenile court, which apparently docketed a separate case for
June 18, 2018, the parties and their attorneys appeared
before the juvenile court in case number JU-15-85.02 and case
number JU-15-86.02, and the following colloquy occurred:
"[The Court:] Present today are [the maternal
grandfather] and [the maternal grandmother] who are
presently represented by Attorney Sonny Reagan. [The
paternal grandparents], as I referenced, are present and
represented by Benton Persons.
"But its my understanding that the parties reached an
agreement related to the issues.
"Is that correct?
"[Counsel for the maternal grandparents:] Thats
correct. Your Honor.
"THE COURT: Whoever would like to recite it may do so.
"[Counsel for the maternal grandparents]: Judge, Id be
glad to take first shot at it.
"The parties have agreed to resume a normal visitation
schedule. However, the parties have agreed to have a
graduated process to get to full visitation for the [maternal
grandparents]. And we will submit proposed orders to the
Court laying that out.
"Theres going to be conditions as well. And one of
those conditions is that [J.L., a neighbor of the maternal
grandparents who allegedly sexually molested the children,]
have no contact whatsoever with the children when theyre
exercising visitation with the maternal grandparents; and
also that there be no consumption of alcohol in the presence
of the minor children by either party; and also that any
medications that are prescribed for adults will be secured
and out of the reach of the children.
"And we would expect hopefully that this graduated
visitation schedule will initially move to a few hours, like
on a Saturday, then go to a full day, then overnight. And
eventually well end up with a visitation schedule that looks
similar to like in a divorce. And hopefully that graduated
process will take place over a period of about six months.
"But well propose some orders to you.
"[Counsel for the paternal grandparents]: And the only
other condition we are asking is that the mother[, A.C.,] not
be allowed to take the children out of the [maternal
grandparents] home and to stay under their supervision.
"[Counsel for the maternal grandparents]: Thank you for
that. The children bottom line will always be supervised by
"THE COURT: What Ill do then is Ill enter an order
that says that the parties have entered into a settlement
agreement thats been made known to the Court. Will thirty
days be enough time to get a proposed order?
"[Counsel for the maternal grandparents]: Yes, sir. Ill
have that to you this week.
"THE COURT: That sounds good. Ill get that order out
today saying that yall have thirty days to get something
same day, the juvenile court entered separate, but nearly
identical, orders in case number JU-15-85.02 and case number
"The parties having appeared with counsel on todays
date and having announced to the Court that a settlement of
the issues has been reached:
"It is ORDERED that the parties shall submit to the
Court a proposed order citing the terms of the settlement
within 30 days of ...