Griffin v. GriffinAnnotate this Case
Nolana and Chad Griffin married in 2001. They had four daughters together—one born in 2001, another born in 2004, and twins born in 2009. Nolana was a high school teacher for the Walthall County School District. In early 2014, she confessed to Chad that she had engaged in sexual relationships with four of her teenaged students. Chad, an officer with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, immediately contacted the district attorney. In April 2014, Nolana pled guilty to four counts of sexual battery of a minor by a person of trust or authority. For each count, Nolana was sentenced to twenty-five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with ten years suspended and the sentences to be served concurrently. She would be transferred to the Washington County Correctional Facility in Greenville, Mississippi, four hours away. Mississippi law presumes visitation with the noncustodial parent was in the best interest of the child. But under the circumstances here, where an incarcerated mother sought a court order requiring her four children, one of whom has a social disability, to drive four hours to visit her in prison, every other week, the chancellor found it was not. In reaching this decision, the Mississippi Supreme Court determined the chancellor applied the correct legal standard and supported his decision with substantial evidence. Given the broad deference afforded chancellors in visitation matters, the Supreme Court affirmed.