Jackson v. MacLeodAnnotate this Case
Patrick Jackson and Sally McLeod were divorced in 2004. The contentiousness that began at the outset of the divorce action extended over a decade with continuing conflict and litigation, much of which centered around the parties’ three children. Prior to the judgment at issue in this appeal, McLeod provided the primary residence for all three children, and Jackson had visitation rights. McLeod filed a motion to modify the parental rights order. The court later held a hearing on McLeod’s motion to modify. Relying on incidents that occurred the summer prior to the hearing, the court implicitly concluded that a substantial change in circumstances had occurred and that it was in the youngest child’s best interest to eliminate overnight visitation with Jackson. The court then imposed a $1000 civil fine for Jackson’s “subterfuge” during one of the incidents. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment assessing the civil penalty and affirmed in all other respects, holding (1) the court lacked authority to impose the civil penalty; (2) the court did not err in modifying Jackson’s rights of contact; and (3) Jackson’s remaining arguments were without merit.