S.L. and D.L.
J.L.C. and R.C. S.L. and D.L.
J.L.C. and R.C.
from Coffee Juvenile Court JU-15-85.02, JU-15-86.02
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 children's 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 grandmother's
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 court's orders denying
the paternal grandmother's 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 each child.
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 it's my understanding that the parties reached
an agreement related to the issues.
"Is that correct?
"[Counsel for the maternal grandparents:] That's
correct. Your Honor.
"THE COURT: Whoever would like to recite it may do so.
"[Counsel for the maternal grandparents]: Judge, I'd
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.
"There's 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 they're
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 we'll 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
"But we'll 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 I'll do then is I'll enter an
order that says that the parties have entered into a
settlement agreement that's been made known to the Court.
Will thirty days be enough time to get a proposed order?
"[Counsel for the maternal grandparents]: Yes, sir.
I'll have that to you this week.
"THE COURT: That sounds good. I'll get that order
out today saying that y'all have thirty days to get
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 today's
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 ...