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In re Welfare of Child of T.D.G.

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

June 24, 2013

In the Matter of the Welfare of the Child of: T. D. G., Parent.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Chisago County District Court File No. 13-JV-11-349

Janet Reiter, Chisago County Attorney, Anne M. Zimmerman, Assistant County Attorney, Center City, Minnesota (for appellant Chisago County)

Jodi Proulx, Hugo, Minnesota (for respondent T.D.G.)

Alfred S. Alliegro, Johnson, Grundhoefer & Alliegro, Center City, Minnesota (for respondent M.G.J.)

Timothy T. Ryan, Chisago City, Minnesota (for respondents C.P. and K.V.) Linda Van Der Werf, Chisago City, Minnesota (guardian ad litem)

Considered and decided by Worke, Presiding Judge; Halbrooks, Judge; and Larkin, Judge.

HALBROOKS, Judge

Appellant challenges the juvenile court's determination that it has jurisdiction to rule on motions to change custody and venue. Because the juvenile court properly exercised its jurisdiction, we affirm.

FACTS

In October 2011, appellant Chisago County filed a child in need of protection or services (CHIPS) petition concerning M.W.J., who was born on March 2, 2011. M.W.J.'s mother, T.D.G., denied the allegations in the petition, and the matter was set for trial.

In December 2011, T.D.G., her maternal aunt, C.P., M.W.J.'s biological father, M.G.J., the county, and the guardian ad litem (GAL) drafted a stipulation for joint custody and dismissal. The parties agreed that it was in M.W.J.'s best interests for T.D.G., maternal aunt, and maternal aunt's husband, K.V., to have joint legal and physical custody of M.W.J. The stipulation provided that T.D.G. and M.W.J. would move to Texas to live with maternal aunt and K.V.'s family. The parties also agreed that a family court file would be opened in Chisago County, allowing the family court to exercise ongoing jurisdiction over the matter.

A hearing on the stipulation was held on December 13, 2011. At the conclusion of the hearing, the juvenile court stated, "[I]t's my understanding that once this is in place[, ] . . . the CHIPS Petition is going to be dismissed[.]" The county responded, "Correct[.] [O]nce we know the parties have left [for Texas] we will be filing a paper for dismissal." T.D.G. confirmed that she agreed to the stipulation and that it was her understanding that the CHIPS petition would be dismissed. The juvenile court subsequently signed the stipulation and directed court administration to open a family court file.

In January 2012, the juvenile court filed an order concluding that the stipulated-custody arrangement was in M.W.J.'s best interests. The order does not adjudicate M.W.J. as a CHIPS and does not close the juvenile court file. The county concedes that it never ...


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