This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Jennifer L. Millsop, n/k/a Jennifer L. Boryca, petitioner,
Reginald C. Millsop,
Filed June 12, 2007
Toussaint, Chief Judge
Kevin T. Duffy, Post Office Box 715, Thief River Falls, MN 56701 (for respondent)
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
On appeal from the district court’s denial of the motion of appellant Jennifer L. Millsop, n/k/a Jennifer L. Boryca, to modify custody, she argues that the district court should have granted her either immediate temporary custody of the child, an evidentiary hearing on her motion to modify custody, or a new guardian ad litem. We affirm.
argues that the district court abused its discretion by finding that appellant
did not made a prima facie case of endangerment justifying an evidentiary
hearing to modify physical custody. Whether
a party makes a prima facie case to modify custody is dispositive of whether an
evidentiary hearing will occur on the motion.
See Morey v. Peppin, 375 N.W.2d 19, 25 (
district court may modify a prior custody order in the child’s best interest to
address changed circumstances.
Endangerment implies a
“significant degree of danger” or likely harm to the child’s physical or
emotional well-being. Sharp v. Bilbro,614 N.W.2d 260, 263
(Minn. App. 2000) (quotation omitted), review
Here, appellant claims her son is endangered becauserespondent Reginald C. Millsop’s fiancée slapped appellant’s son in the face. In addition, respondent’s household sends the son to bed at 7 p.m., and respondent, who works during the day, is not spending time with his son. Appellant also claims respondent does not cooperate in scheduling appellant’s parenting time, does not communicate with her about their son, refuses appellant’s telephone calls outside of the court-ordered parenting time, and fails to provide the son with sufficient medical care. Other incidents in appellant’s affidavits, including the son’s exposure to carbon-monoxide poisoning, the son’s lack of weight gain, and respondent’s returning a parcel sent to their son with his favorite cookies and a toy, happened before the most recent child-support order and are therefore not changed circumstances.
Respondent and his fiancée have both denied that the son was ever slapped and state that they would never strike a child. They explained that they begin the son’s bedtime at 7 p.m., but that includes bathing and activities with respondent and his fiancée. The son is put to bed after 8 p.m. Respondent stated that he permits appellant telephone access with their son during the court-ordered times. In addition, respondent stated that appellant chose not to use her parenting time because of her own transportation problems. Respondent describes the son as “a very healthy, strong young boy,” and respondent states that he “certainly does not bring him to the doctor unless he is sick.”
Given appellant’s failure to provide only isolated incidents that do not indicate “a significant degree of danger,” appellant has not shown a prima facie case for modifying custody, and the district court properly denied appellant’s request for immediate physical custody.
claims that the district court’s order failed to provide sufficient findings of
fact to support the district court’s conclusions. “Generally, the [district] court is required
to make specific findings demonstrating the basis for its conclusions when
deciding a custody matter.” Abbott v.
Abbott, 481 N.W.2d 864, 867 (
also claims that the district court should have at least appointed a new guardian
ad litem. In a contested custody matter,
the district court may, in its discretion, appoint a guardian ad litem and must
appoint a guardian ad litem if “the court has reason to believe that the minor
child is a victim of domestic child abuse or neglect.”