may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In Re the Marriage of:
Rosemary Kuth, f/k/a Rosemary Simonson, petitioner,
Matthew C. Simonson,
Filed August 26, 1997
Dodge County District Court
File No. F59288
Matthew C. Simonson, 607 Seventh Avenue Southeast, Austin, MN 55912 (appellant pro se)
Considered and decided by Norton, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Willis, Judge.
Appellant Matthew Simonson challenges the district court's suspension of visitation. We affirm, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that suspended visitation serves the child's best interest.
At three subsequent hearings, the district court held father in civil contempt for initiating unauthorized contact with the child and for disregarding court orders pertaining to the dissolution decree unrelated to visitation. At the contempt hearings, the district court ordered father to attend the "Men Who Batter" program and to refrain from unauthorized contact with the child or mother. On May 1, 1996, after finding father failed to purge himself of contempt, the district court suspended father's visitation pending the completion of a psychiatric or psychological evaluation and ordered an evidentiary hearing.
On August 1, 1996, after an evidentiary hearing, the district court suspended father's visitation and ordered that father, mother, and the child participate in an evaluation by court-appointed therapists. On April 15, 1997, after the evaluations were completed and a second evidentiary hearing, the district court suspended father's visitation. The court ordered father to submit an updated psychiatric or psychological evaluation, complete the "Men Who Batter" program, and follow the recommendations of the court-appointed therapists before visitation would be reconsidered. Father appeals.
A restriction of visitation requires a finding that the current visitation arrangement physically or emotionally endangers the child or that the noncustodial parent has chronically and unreasonably failed to comply with a court-ordered visitation schedule. Anderson v. Archer, 510 N.W.2d 1, 4 (Minn. App. 1993); Minn. Stat. § 518.175, subd. 5. The district court must make particularized findings on the reasons for restricted visitation and must expressly find the child's best interests will be served. Courey v. Courey, 524 N.W.2d 469, 472 (Minn. App. 1994).
In its findings of fact supporting suspended visitation, the district court found father repeatedly failed to comply with the court's orders governing visitation. The record offers ample support for this finding. Since 1994, mother has arranged for volunteers to supervise visitations between father and the child and has paid for a facility for visitations. Father's attendance at scheduled visits has been irregular. During 1995, he failed to participate in visits for eight consecutive weeks and his whereabouts were unknown.
The district court also found that continued visitation would harm the child emotionally and, possibly, physically. The record supports this finding. Father made derogatory comments about mother during visits and questioned the child about mother's personal relationships. The child experienced difficulty falling asleep, stating she was afraid as a result of things father told her. See Kuebelbeck v. Humphrey, 402 N.W.2d 202, 204-205 (Minn. App. 1987) (district court may severely restrict visitation when noncustodial parent has denounced custodial parent and disturbed child during visits), review denied (Minn. April 29, 1987).
The district court did not abuse its discretion in suspending father's visitation. Because the record is replete with instances of father's inappropriate conduct, we urge the district court to consider carefully father's future requests for visitation.