This week the MN Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s decision in 1) denying appellant’s request for an evidentiary hearing, 2) modifying legal custody without an evidentiary hearing or adequate findings, and 3) restricting her parenting time without adequate findings. The father moved to modify parenting time and for sole authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the children based on mother’s constant efforts to alienate the children from him and her regularly removing the children from school for doctor visits for alleged child abuse. In response, the mother filed a cross-motion opposing father’s motion and requested items including sole legal and physical custody pending an evidentiary hearing. However, there was no evidence provided in the mother’s affidavit to corroborate her allegations. The mother has an extensive history of unfounded abuse accusations towards the father in which the county investigator was involved numerous times, and to which all cases were closed after review. Minn. Stat. § 518.175, subd. 5(b) (2016) requires the district court to modify parenting time if it serves the children’s best interests and does not change the children’s primary residence. Since reducing parenting time is not a restriction, no evidentiary hearing was required to lessen the mother’s parenting time. The change in parenting time was to reduce the mother’s ability to interfere with the children’s education, yet still providing the mother quality time with the children. Unfortunately the mother’s poor behavior and decisions reduced some of the time she was allowed with her children, but fortunately the court ruled in the best interests of the children to provide them a more consistent and stable life.
This is an unpublished opinion.