This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In Re the Marriage of:
George Christy Nelson, petitioner,
Kyra Ann Parker Nelson,
Filed October 9, 2001
Dakota County District Court
File No. F7-93-006631
Geraldine C. Steen, Beckman & Steen, 206 First Minnetonka City Bank Building, 14550 Excelsior Boulevard, Minnetonka, MN 55345 (for respondent)
Kyra Ann Parker Nelson, 3108 East 65th Street, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076-4450 (appellant pro se)
Joyce M. Grannis, First Judicial District Guardian Ad Litem Program, 412 Southview Boulevard, Suite 100, South St. Paul, MN 55075 (for guardian ad litem)
Considered and decided by Willis, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant-mother challenges the district court’s order indefinitely suspending her visitation with the parties’ child, arguing that the record does not support the finding that the suspension is in the child’s best interests. Because we see no abuse of discretion, we affirm.
Appellant Kyra Nelson and respondent George Nelson are the parents of a daughter, A.N., age 12; respondent Joyce Grannis is A.N.’s guardian ad litem (GAL). George Nelson has had custody of A.N. since the parties’ marriage dissolution in 1994, when A.N. was five. Appellant suffers from bipolar manic disorder with probable personality disorder. She had visitation with A.N. until 1995, when the court suspended visitation. Appellant then moved to Hawaii where she lived for two or three years and had no contact with A.N. After appellant returned to Minnesota, she moved for visitation.
The district court implicitly denied that motion by continuing the suspension, but it appointed a GAL to coordinate the efforts of appellant’s health-care workers and A.N.’s health-care workers. Their joint efforts led to a monitored telephone call between A.N. and appellant in March 2000. After the call, A.N. wrote to appellant saying she did not want to see appellant until she is “sixteen, seventeen, or [a] full grown adult” and reporting that she was “suspended [from school] four times, right after [she] heard or felt something about [appellant].”
Appellant again moved for visitation; the GAL moved for indefinite suspension of visitation. Following a hearing, the district court granted the GAL’s motion. Appellant contests that determination.
D E C I S I O N
A district court has extensive discretion in deciding visitation questions and will not be reversed absent an abuse of discretion. Olson v. Olson, 534 N.W.2d 547, 550 (Minn. 1995). A district court’s findings of fact, upon which a visitation decision is based, will be upheld unless they are clearly erroneous. Griffin v. Van Griffin, 267 N.W.2d 733, 735 (Minn. 1978).
The district court’s findings here are not clearly erroneous. The district court found the GAL’s report to be credible and adopted it as part of its Findings of Fact. The GAL provided the court with (1) a letter from A.N.’s treating psychiatrist who described her treatment and medication since November 1998; (2) a letter from A.N.’s special education teacher attesting to A.N.’s good relationship with her father and his parenting skills; and (3) a letter from A.N.’s licensed psychologist stating that (a) A.N. still expresses fears about being with appellant because of things that happened when A.N. was a small child, (b) A.N. is disturbed by appellant’s letters that reflect appellant’s “unusual and disordered” thinking, (c) A.N. fears both being forced to see appellant and being abducted by appellant, (d) appellant is acting in her own interests, not A.N.’s interest, by seeking visitation, and (e) visitation would not be in A.N.’s best interest until she is much older.
The district court also found that appellant suffers from bipolar manic disorder, that she is currently medication compliant and stable, that she expresses “bizarre ideas regarding satanic events” and “bizarre, nonsensical, hostile and/or threatening ideation,” and that she “alternates between periods of flat affect and extreme rage.” Both the materials appellant submitted to the district court and the hearing transcript provide ample support for these findings.
One exhibit attached to appellant’s affidavit was “[A] list of Demonic events [experienced] since arriving in Minnesota.” The hearing transcript includes a seven-page monologue in which appellant (1) objected to the choice of courthouse for a 1992 proceeding; (2) expressed her problems understanding the alien Minnesota culture and court system; (3) described her time in Hawaii as an effort to find out if she needed to be on medication; (4) said her psychiatrist gave her medication that tortured her for six months and that she had been “put through five separate psychiatrists” in Minnesota; (5) said the number of bus accidents in Minnesota could have caused her to lose her mind anyway; (6) claimed that A.N.’s medication is immediately and permanently addictive; (7) told the district court it did “not know what the state of Minnesota is providing against our national defense systems in this state, country”; and (8) said that “[t]his man [A.N.’s father] attends a non-denominational Judao American Consult” from which she wanted A.N. to escape. Thus, appellant herself provided the evidence for the district court’s findings as to her mental state.
Finally, the district court found that:
7. Although [A.N.] loves [appellant] and is concerned about [appellant’s] welfare, [A.N.] is afraid of [appellant]—afraid that [appellant] will hurt or kidnap [A.N.]; afraid that [appellant] will harm [respondent’s] family members, afraid of what [appellant] might do during a visit.
8. [A.N.] has been in therapy with [a psychologist] for several years. [A.N.] continues to process the frightening acts perpetrated by [appellant] prior to the marriage dissolution.
9. [A.N.] has written her mother, expressing her desire that visitation not occur until [A.N.] is at least 16 years old.
The psychologist’s report and A.N.’s letter are in the record and support these findings.
We conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion by suspending appellant’s visitation.