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In re Medlin

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department B

October 15, 2013

In re the Matter of: JENNIFER S. MEDLIN, Petitioner/Appellant,
v.
WILLIAM G. WRIGHT, Intervenor/Appellee.

Not for Publication – Rule 28, Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa Cause No. FC2006-092591 The Honorable Bethany G. Hicks, Judge

Law Office of John E. Herrick Phoenix By John E. Herrick Attorneys for Petitioner/Appellant

Clifford Levenson, Attorney at Law Phoenix By Clifford I. Levenson Attorney for Intervenor/Appellee

MEMORANDUM DECISION

DIANE M. JOHNSEN, CHIEF JUDGE

¶1 Jennifer S. Medlin ("Mother") appeals the superior court's order granting her father, William G. Wright ("Grandfather"), visitation with her child. We hold the court did not abuse its discretion and affirm the order.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 Mother and her former husband, Dennis M. Medlin ("Father"), have one child, born in 2005. Mother has had sole decision-making authority over the child since the parties' 2006 consent decree. Mother and the child lived with Grandfather for approximately five years, until May 2011, when Mother and the child relocated to North Dakota for Mother's work. Mother remarried and continues to live in North Dakota.

¶3 In 2012, the superior court held a one-hour hearing to make temporary orders on Father's request for modified parenting time. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court awarded Father two weeks of parenting time under Grandfather's supervision. The court directed that child was to stay at Grandfather's house during the two-week period. Later the day of the hearing, Mother obtained an order of protection against Grandfather by filing a petition in another judicial division alleging that he sent harassing communications and threatened to make false police reports. After a hearing two weeks later, the court amended the order of protection to omit the child.

¶4 In the meantime, Grandfather filed a petition to establish grandparent visitation. Mother argued her denial of visitation to Grandfather was reasonable in light of the order of protection. After an evidentiary hearing, the court awarded Grandfather one week of visitation each year. We have jurisdiction of Mother's timely appeal pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 12-2101(A)(2) (2013).[1]

DISCUSSION

¶5 Arizona courts may award visitation to the grandparent of a child whose parents have been divorced more than three months if the court finds that visitation is in the child's best interests. See A.R.S. § 25-409(A) (2012) . We review the grant of grandparent visitation for an abuse of discretion. McGovern v. McGovern, 201 Ariz. 172, 175, 6, 33 P.3d 506, 509 (App. 2001).

¶6 In determining whether grandparent visitation is in the child's best interests, ยง 25-409(C) directs the ...


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