Dispositions Other Than By Published Opinion | July 26, 2023

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals

Division I

120,947 – In the Matter of O.H., H.H., and L.H., Alleged Deprived Children, James Hubbard and Misty Erickson, Appellants, v. State of Oklahoma, Appellee. Appeal from the District Court of Grady County, Oklahoma.  Honorable Z. Joseph Young, Trial Judge.  Appellants (Parents), James Hubbard (Father) and Misty Erickson (Mother), appeal from orders terminating their parental rights from their three minor children, O.H., H.H. and L.H. Parents argue that the trial court abused its discretion when it found it was in the best interests of the minor children to terminate the parental rights, and that it was error to allow evidence of drug testing results.  Upon review of the record on appeal and applicable law, we AFFIRM.  Opinion by DOWNING, J.; GOREE, P.J., and SWINTON, J., concur. July 20, 2023

Division II

120,760 – In the Matter of L.M., M.R., and N.W., Alleged Deprived Children: Sarah Maynard and Javonta Wright, Appellants, v. State of Oklahoma, Appellee.  Appeal from the District Court of Oklahoma County, Hon. Mark C. McCormick, Trial Judge.  Sarah Maynard (Mother) and Javonta Wright (Father), parents of the infant child N.W., filed this appeal arguing their due process rights were violated by the referee’s use of certain notes during an emergency custody show cause hearing and the limitations the referee placed on their ability to present evidence.  The referee found that custody should remain with DHS, finding Appellee State of Oklahoma “met it[s] burden of proof; child remains a Ward of the court.”  Parents appealed that ruling to the district court and now appeal from the district court’s order, entered after a hearing, in which the district court: denied Parents’ request for additional witnesses; allowed Father custody once he obtained stable and separate housing from Mother; and allowed continued supervised visitation with Mother by a supervisor other than Father.  The district court also ruled at the hearing that no due process violations occurred.  For the reasons discussed herein, we conclude the district court did not err in finding no violation of Parents’ due process rights by the referee’s use of certain notes during the emergency custody hearing or by the referee’s refusal to continue the hearing to another day because of Father’s voluntary absence from the remainder of the hearing.  We conclude, however, that under the facts of this case, the referee denied Mother her due process right to an opportunity to be heard when the referee discontinued the hearing because of Father’s voluntary absence mid-way through the proceeding; consequently, the district court erred in finding no due process violation occurred.  We, therefore, vacate that part of the district court’s order.  However, because Parents entered into an agreement with State during the pendency of this appeal in which N.W. has been returned to their custody, no further action is needed.  Further, we affirm the district court’s order as to Father.  VACATED IN PART AND AFFIRMED.  Opinion from Court of Civil Appeals, Division II, by BARNES, V.C.J.; HIXON, J., concurs, and WISEMAN, P.J., concurs in part and dissents in part. June 25, 2023

Division III

120,564 – Sabrina C. Widick, Petitioner/Appellant, v. James C. Widick, Respondent/Appellee. Appeal from the District Court of Tulsa County, Oklahoma.  Honorable April Seibert, Trial Judge. This is an appeal from a proceeding to modify child custody, visitation and child support.  Petitioner/Appellant, Sabrina C. Widick (Mother), appeals from the trial court’s order modifying Mother’s sole custody of the parties’ minor child and awarding Mother and Respondent/Appellee, James C. Widick (Father), joint legal custody.  The court’s modification order granted Father primary physical custody of the child and awarded Mother standard visitation.  On appeal, Mother asserts this Court should reverse the trial court’s modification order because the court committed irreparable procedural errors, Father failed to meet his burden to obtain the modification of the original custody order, and the court appointed Guardian ad Litem (GAL) and the trial court improperly relied upon the child’s preference.  We cannot find the trial court committed reversible procedural errors.  We further hold the court did not abuse its discretion or hold contrary to law when it awarded the parties joint legal custody and Father primary physical custody of the child.  Finally, we hold the record does not support Mother’s claim that the trial court and the GAL improperly relied upon the child’s preference in making its decision to modify custody.  We therefore AFFIRM the trial court’s modification order.  Opinion by BELL, J.; MITCHELL, C.J., and PRINCE, P.J., concur. July 25, 2023

Division IV

119,639 – Vail Pass Group, L.P.; Charles R. Wilson; Connie R. Wilson; and Mark McDaniel, Plaintiffs/Appellees, vs. Saral Kundu, Defendant/Appellant, and Sharabantee Kundu, Defendant.  Appeal from Order of the District Court of McCurtain County, Hon. Michael D. DeBerry, Trial Judge.  Appellant Saral Kundu appeals the district court’s order finding that he violated a valid restrictive covenant associated with his property and granting an injunction requested by neighboring property owners.  We find that the district court’s determination that Kundu violated a valid and enforceable restrictive covenant is not against the clear weight of the evidence.  Further, the record supports the district court’s determination that laches is inapplicable as an equitable defense.  The order enjoining Kundu from building four cabins on his property and ordering the removal of one of those structures is neither against the clear weight of the evidence nor an error of law.  AFFIRMED.  Opinion from Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV, by FISCHER, J.; BLACKWELL, P.J., and HUBER, J., concur. July 25, 2023

120,040 – Tributary Resources, LLC, Plaintiff/Appellee, vs. Monty L. Hott Production Corp.; Kaiser Francis Oil Company; L.R. McBride, Inc. (as Successor to L.R. McBride Engineering, Inc.); BE-JA, LLC; Casa Cortez Holdings, Inc.; D&T Oil, LLC; Voortman Oil & Gas, LLC; and Dewaard Oil, LLC, Defendants/Third-Party Plaintiffs/Appellants, Chaparal Energy, LLC, Third-Party Defendant. Appeal from an Order of the District Court of Kingfisher County, Hon. Lance E. Schneiter, Trial Judge. The trial court’s order granting summary judgment to the plaintiff is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings in light of Tres C v. Raker Resources, 2023 OK 13. REVERSED AND REMANDED PURSUANT TO SUPREME COURT RULE 1.201. Opinion from the Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV by BLACKWELL, P.J.; FISCHER, J., and HUBER, J., concur. June 20, 2023