Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Baker v. Baker

Supreme Court of North Dakota

August 22, 2019

Ashley A. Baker, Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
Eric L. Baker, Defendant and Appellant

          Appeal from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central Judicial District, the Honorable Bruce A. Romanick, Judge.

          Joshua Weatherspoon (argued) and Micheal A. Mulloy (appeared), Bismarck, N.D., for plaintiff and appellee.

          Theresa L. Kellington, Bismarck, N.D., for defendant and appellant.

          OPINION

          TUFTE, JUSTICE.

         [¶1] Eric Baker appeals from a district court order denying his motion to modify primary residential responsibility. We reverse and remand, concluding Eric Baker established a prima facie case for modification, warranting an evidentiary hearing on the motion.

         I

         [¶2] Ashley Baker and Eric Baker divorced in November 2016. Ashley Baker was awarded primary residential responsibility of the parties' two children. The divorce judgment granted the parties joint decision-making responsibilities for major decisions, including medical decisions. The judgment required the parties to communicate any doctor appointments, illnesses, or behavior issues regarding the children. The judgment also included a right of first refusal provision, stating that if either of the parties was unable to care for the minor children during their parenting time for four hours or more, the other parent must be given the first option to care for the children.

         [¶3] In December 2018, Eric Baker moved to modify primary residential responsibility, arguing there had been a material change in circumstances warranting modification. He submitted an affidavit alleging Ashley Baker frustrated his parenting time, failed to make joint decisions with him relating to medical care, failed to comply with the divorce judgment's provisions on communication and the right of first refusal, and abused the children. In response, Ashley Baker submitted an affidavit denying Eric Baker's allegations.

         [¶4] The district court denied Eric Baker's motion without a hearing. The court found Eric Baker failed to demonstrate a material change in circumstances had occurred since the entry of the divorce judgment.

         II

         [¶5] Eric Baker argues he established a prima facie case for modification, and the district court erred in denying his motion without an evidentiary hearing.

         [¶6] When a party moves to modify primary residential responsibility after the two-year period following the date of entry of a judgment establishing primary residential responsibility, the district court may grant modification if it finds:

a. On the basis of facts that have arisen since the prior order or which were unknown to the court at the time of the prior order, a material change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or the parties; and
b. The modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child. N.D.C.C. ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.