of Appeals Office of Appellate Courts
M. Dittrich, Dittrich & Lawrence, P.A., Rochester, for
Nord Hunt, Lommen Abdo, P.A., Susan M. Gallagher, Gallagher
Law Office, L.L.C., and Scott Wilson, for appellant.
district court's order modifying the child custody
provision contained in the judgment and decree of dissolution
district court modified the child custody provision contained
in the judgment and decree of dissolution without complying
with the requirements of Minn. Stat. § 518.18 (2016).
dissolving their marriage, appellant Bridget Meyer and
respondent Robert Crowley agreed to share joint legal and
physical custody of their children. Their agreement was
reflected in a 2012 judgment and decree. In 2013, the
district court issued a series of orders granting Crowley
"temporary" sole physical custody of the children.
More than a year later, Meyer moved to "reinstate"
joint custody, but the district court denied her motion in a
March 2015 order.
appealed the March 2015 order. The court of appeals
determined that it had appellate jurisdiction and affirmed
the order. Crowley v. Meyer, A15-1471, 2016 WL
5888693 (Minn.App. Oct. 11, 2016).
conclude that the March 2015 order, though appealable,
erroneously modified custody without complying with the
requirements of Minn. Stat. § 518.18 (2016). Thus, we
reverse the decision of the court of appeals and remand to
the district court for further proceedings consistent with
Meyer and Robert Crowley married in 1992 and had two
children, now ages 17 and 11. Crowley petitioned to dissolve
the marriage in 2009. Before dissolving the marriage, the
parties stipulated to the appointment of a parenting time
expeditor. In 2011, the district court
dissolved the marriage. In 2012, the court issued a
Bifurcated Judgment and Decree as to Custody and Parenting
Time, adopting the parties' agreement that they would
share joint legal custody of the children and joint physical
custody by alternating weeks.
joint physical custody arrangement did not survive for long.
On February 27, 2013, Crowley moved for an emergency order
granting him immediate temporary sole physical custody of the
children. Two weeks later, the district court granted
Crowley's motion, ...