Dispositions Other Than By Published Opinion | Nov. 15, 2023

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals

Division I

120,636 – In Re the Marriage of Maureen H. Brown, Petitioner/Appellee, v. Quinton L. Brown, Respondent/Appellant.  Appeal from the District Court of Tulsa County, Oklahoma.  Honorable Kirsten Pace, Trial Judge.  Respondent/Appellant Quinton L. Brown (Husband) appeals from an order awarding Petitioner/Appellee Maureen H. Brown (Wife) sole custody of the parties’ minor child in the divorce proceeding between them.  Husband also appears to challenge the trial court’s division of assets and in calculating the child support arrearage. We affirm. Opinion by SWINTON, J.; GOREE, P.J., and DOWNING, J., concur. November 9, 2023

120,652 – Frank Edwards and Diane Edwards, Plaintiffs/Appellees, v. Donald Holt, Katherine Holt, Don Holt, and Carrie Holt, Defendants/Appellants.  Appeal from the District Court of Wagoner County, Oklahoma.  Honorable Douglas A. Kirkley, Judge.  In its Order, the trial court granted permanent injunctive relief to the plaintiffs, easement holders, against the defendants, owners of the servient estate.  In its Journal Entry of Judgment, it clarified its orders granting permanent injunctive relief to the plaintiffs. We affirm in part and reverse in part.  Opinion by GOREE, P.J.; SWINTON, J., concurs and DOWNING, J., dissents. November 9, 2023

120,886 – Kyce Reigh Gilliland, Petitioner/Appellant, v. Stormie Dawn McPeak, Respondent/Appellee. Appeal from the District Court of Carter County, Oklahoma.  Honorable Aaron Duck, Trial Judge.  Appellant, Kyce Gilliland (Father), appeals from the trial court’s October 25, 2022, Order granting Respondent, Stormie McPeak’s (Mother) Motion to Reinstate Visitation and denying Father’s Objection to Motion for Visitation and Motion to Terminate Parental Rights. The trial court’s order finding best interest of the child in resuming visitation was not supported by the evidence. Additionally, the trial court conditioned additional visitation, supervised or unsupervised, on the recommendation of R.G.’s counselor stating, “if and when the counselor recommends additional visitation”. The trial court’s best interest finding is not supported by the evidence, and delegation of its judicial authority is error. Accordingly, we REVERSE.  Opinion by DOWNING, J.; GOREE, J., concurs and SWINTON, J., concurs in result. November 9, 2023

Division II

121,269 – In the Matter of R.U., C.U., T.H., and O.T., Alleged Deprived Children:  Sarah Nanette Tuttle, Appellant, v. State of Oklahoma, Appellee.  Appeal from an Order of the District Court of Oklahoma County, Hon. Angela J. Singleton, Trial Judge.  In this deprived child proceeding, Sarah Nanette Tuttle (Mother) appeals from an order of the court terminating her parental rights to her minor children arguing that several trial court rulings denied her a fair trial and that the jury’s verdict was not based on clear and convincing evidence.  From our review of the record and the applicable law, we conclude Mother’s due process rights were not violated because the trial court denied her request to continue the bench trial for adjudication and jury trial to terminate her parental rights.  We further conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining that Mother voluntarily waived her right to counsel and in allowing her to proceed pro se; thus, we conclude Mother’s due process rights were not violated.  Further, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Mother’s request to inform the jury about her medical condition in the absence of any evidence of such medical condition.  As to the merits, we further conclude State presented clear and convincing evidence that Mother failed to protect any child from heinous and shocking abuse and that it is in the children’s best interest that Mother’s parental rights be terminated.  Consequently, we conclude the trial court did not err in entering the order of termination on the jury’s verdict.  Accordingly, we affirm.  AFFIRMED.  Opinion from the Court of Civil Appeals, Division II by BARNES, V.C.J.; WISEMAN, P.J., and HIXON, J., concur. November 9, 2023

Division III

121,263 – David Dowell, Petitioner, vs. Multiple Injury Trust Fund and the Worker’ Compensation Commission, Respondents. Appeal from the Workers’ Compensation Commission en banc. The Petitioner/Appellant, David Dowell, appeals an Order of the Workers’ Compensation Commission (“WCC”) en banc that affirmed an Order Denying Multiple Injury Trust Fund Benefits.  The WCC affirmed the Administrative Law Judge’s (“ALJ”) decision to deny the Petitioner MITF benefits, and specifically found that the decision of the ALJ was supported by a preponderance of the evidence, was not against the clear weight of the evidence, and that the ALJ correctly applied the law.  The central issue in the case was whether there existed clear and convincing evidence to deviate from the opinion of the Commission Independent Medical Examiner.  See 85A O.S. § 112(I) (requiring adoption of the opinion of the CIME “unless there is clear and convincing evidence to the contrary”).  The ALJ’s decision not only failed to reference the clear and convincing standard, the ALJ failed to cite § 112(I).  Subsequently, on appeal to the WCC en banc, the WCC did not cite § 112(I) and did not, in any way, acknowledge the applicable standard of proof for purposes of § 112(I).  Thus, the Commission missed the mark and erred, as a matter of law, by not making clear which standard of proof it utilized in this case for purposes of § 112(I).  We are compelled to REVERSE the decision of the Commission based on the plain language of 85A O.S. §§ 27 & 112(I), AND REMAND to case to the Commission for a new trial consistent with this Opinion.  Opinion by PRINCE, P.J.; MITCHELL, C.J., and BELL, J., concur. November 13, 2023

121,482 – In Re: The Hal L. Porter Revocable Trust, dated March 12, 2020, Nila Garrity, Petitioner/Appellee, vs. Gwendolyn L. Terrapin, Respondent/Appellant, and Ray Garrity, Mike Garrity and Tim Garrity, Additional Respondents. Appeal from the District Court of Cherokee County, Oklahoma.  Honorable Joshua C. King, Trial Judge. This is an appeal of an Order denying a Motion to Reconsider, filed by the Respondent/Appellant, Gwendolyn L. Terrapin, and an Order granting summary judgment in full for Petitioner/Appellee, Nila Garrity.  Ms. Terrapin was a beneficiary of a Revocable Trust that owned two pieces of real estate.  At the time that the Trust was created, a third property, owned by the Settlor, Hal L. Porter, was under contract for sale and the sales proceeds were to be deposited in an account held by the Trust.  However, the third property was never transferred into the Trust and Mr. Porter passed away before the closing date on the sale.  As a result, the third property was inherited by Ms. Garrity pursuant to the terms of a Holographic Will.  Ms. Garrity was also entitled to a distribution of $50,000.00 from the Trust.  Ms. Terrapin claimed that the sales proceeds (which were supposed to be transferred into Trust) satisfied the $50,000.00 Trust distribution requirement.  The trial court disagreed and granted summary judgment in favor of Ms. Garrity.  Ms. Terrapin sought reconsideration of that Order, which the trial court denied.  We find that the Order entered by the trial court is consistent with the law and AFFIRM. Opinion by PRINCE, P.J.; MITCHELL, C.J., and BELL, J., concur. November 13, 2023

Division IV

121,136 – Gayla Atkins, as Trustee of the FRH13, Irrevocable Trust and sole member of Fran and Gigi’s Painted Cottage, LLC, Plaintiff/Appellant, vs. Steve States, and Robin Rother, acting in her official capacity as County Treasurer of Kingfisher County, Defendants/Appellees. Appeal from an Order of the District Court of Kingfisher County, Hon. Paul K. Woodward, District Judge. Gayla Atkins, as Trustee of the FRH13 Irrevocable Trust and sole member of Fran and GiGi’s Painted Cottage, LLC, appeals the district court’s order granting Steve States’s motion to dismiss her petition to set aside a tax sale and quiet title. After review, we find that the district court erred in granting the motion to dismiss and therefore reverse the order of dismissal and remand for further proceedings. REVERSED AND REMANDED. Opinion from the Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV by BLACKWELL, P.J.; FISCHER, J., and HUBER, J., concur. November 8, 2023

120,186 – In the Matter of the Guardianship of O.M.B, and E.R.B., minor children:  Michael B. Broomfield, Natural Father, Appellant, vs. Marsha Greer, Guardian, Appellee.  Appeal from Order of the District Court of Logan County, Hon. Susan C. Worthington, Trial Judge.  Appellant Michael Broomfield, natural father of the minor children OMB and ERB, appeals from the district court’s order continuing maternal grandmother Marsha Greer’s, custody and guardianship of the children.  Because Broomfield has failed to obtain and file the district court’s order in appealable form, as directed by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, we dismiss the appeal.  DISMISSED.  Opinion from Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV by FISCHER, J.; BLACKWELL, P.J., and HUBER, J., concur. November 8, 2023

120,779 – In the Matter of T.T., Alleged Deprived Child, Cecily Monique Doyeto and Dustin Tofpi, Appellants, v. State of Oklahoma, Appellee.  Appeal from the District Court of Caddo County, Hon. David A. Stephens, Trial Judge.  Appellants, Dustin Tofpi (Father) and Cecily Monique Doyeto (Mother), (collectively referred to as Parents) appeal a district court order, entered after a jury verdict, terminating their parental rights to the minor child, TT, based on Parents’ failure to correct the conditions which led to the child’s deprived adjudication pursuant to 10A O.S.2021, § 1-4-904(B)(5).  It is undisputed that the child is an Indian child and the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act, 10 O.S.2021, §§ 40-40.9, and the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C.A. §§ 1901-1963, apply.  Parents contend that the evidence was insufficient to show that the Department of Human Services made active efforts to prevent the breakup of an Indian family, and to support a finding that continued custody with Parents was likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child.  After reviewing the record and applicable law, we find that the district court did not err in entering the Order Terminating Parental Rights of Biological Mother, Cecily Monique Doyeto and Father Dustin Tofpi.  We therefore affirm the district court’s order.  AFFIRMED.  Opinion from the Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV, by HUBER, J.; BLACKWELL, P.J., and FISCHER, J., concur. November 14, 2023