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Frieson v. Pahkala

November 19, 2002

TARAH ASBUR FRIESON, APPELLANT,
v.
ANGELA DAWN PAHKALA, RESPONDENT.



Hennepin County District Court File No. PA42802

Considered and decided by Shumaker Presiding Judge, Schumacher Judge, and Klaphake Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Under Minn. Stat. § 257.62, subd. 1 (2000), once an alleged father files an affidavit "setting forth facts that establish the reasonable possibility that there was * * * the requisite sexual contact between the parties," the district court is required to compel blood or genetic testing to determine paternity and cannot deny that testing because it finds that the alleged father's affidavit is not credible or that testing is not in the child's best interests.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Klaphake, Judge

Reversed and remanded

Schumacher, Judge, dissenting

OPINION

Appellant Tarah Frieson challenges an order denying his request for blood tests to determine the paternity of a child born in October 1998 to respondent Angela Dawn Pahkala. Appellant claims that he is the father of the child and seeks to compel respondent and the child to undergo blood tests under Minn. Stat. § 257.62, subd. 1 (2000). Because appellant met the requirements of the statute by filing with the court an affidavit alleging paternity and "setting forth facts that establish the reasonable possibility that there was * * * the requisite sexual contact between the parties," we reverse and remand.

FACTS

Appellant executed a paternity petition in August 2000 that was filed with the district court on January 5, 2001. In his petition, appellant alleged that he and respondent had sexual intercourse on December 28, 1997.*fn1 One week after this petition was filed, respondent and Alan Lee Watt, whom respondent apparently married some time after the child's birth, executed a "Voluntary Recognition of Parentage" form, acknowledging that they are the biological parents of the child.

Appellant thereafter filed an amended petition for paternity. In his amended petition, he alleged that "he had sexual relations with [respondent] during the time that [she] conceived" and that he "believes that he is the father" of the child.

Respondent filed an answer in which she (1) denied that she had sexual relations with appellant during the time the child was conceived; (2) stated that Alan Watt is presumed to be the father of the child because she and Watt acknowledged paternity in a written Recognition of Paternity; and (3) claimed that appellant's paternity petition is not brought in good faith and is not in the child's best interests, as evidenced by appellant's history of violence against her and his other criminal activities. Respondent also submitted copies of two orders for protection that she obtained against appellant in November 1998 and October 1999, after the birth of the child.

Appellant thereafter filed a motion to compel blood tests under Minn. Stat. § 257.62. In support of his motion, he submitted an affidavit in which he alleged that although he and respondent ended their relationship in November 1997, they still spoke on the telephone and saw each other occasionally. He alleged that on January 27, 1998, he spent the night at her place and they had sexual relations.

Appellant further alleged that he moved to Chicago on February 3, 1998, and learned of respondent's pregnancy in March 1998. He claimed that respondent told him that he was the father and that they resumed their relationship when he returned to Minnesota during the summer of 1998. He further claimed that he visited the child several times in the hospital after the child's birth in October 1998. Appellant ...


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