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Anthony Gorup v. Brady

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fifth District

December 11, 2015

ANTHONY GORUP, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
QUINIQUE J. BRADY, Defendant-Appellant

Page 833

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Montgomery County. No. 13-MR-143. Honorable Douglas L. Jarman, Judge, presiding.

         For Appellant: Nathan A. Frisch, Aaron D. Calvert, Beavers, Graham & Calvert, Taylorville, IL.

         For Appellee: Bryan A. Drew, Jason D. Drew, Joshua N. McCain, Drew & Drew, P.C., Benton, IL.

         PRESIDING JUSTICE SCHWARM delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Welch and Stewart concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

Page 834

          SCHWARM, PRESIDING JUSTICE.

          [¶1] Quinique J. Brady appeals from the circuit court's decision awarding custody of her child, A.G., to A.G.'s father, Anthony Gorup. Quinique argues that the circuit court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over this case, that the circuit court failed to follow the procedures necessary to obtain temporary emergency jurisdiction over the matter, and that the circuit court's custody determination was against the manifest weight of the evidence. We hold that the circuit court properly exercised temporary emergency jurisdiction and affirm in part on that basis. However, because we hold that the circuit court failed to follow the statutory criteria for temporary emergency modification and failed to properly exercise its authority in ordering permanent modification, we vacate the actions of the circuit court and remand with instructions.

         [¶2] BACKGROUND

          [¶3] Quinique and Anthony married in March 2005 in Deridder, Louisiana. They had one child, A.G., born on September 3, 2007. On June 27, 2011, the parties' marriage was dissolved in the Ninth Judicial Circuit, Parish of Rapides, Louisiana. Under the joint dissolution of marriage, Quinique was designated as the primary domiciliary parent. Anthony was granted visitation for one month in the summer and every other holiday, as well as " at any time during the year when he is able to exercise custody while on leave."

          [¶4] Quinique is a pipefitter. Prior to trial, Quinique's work as a pipefitter routinely took her to various states for work assignments. During those assignments, she maintained a residence in Boyce, Louisiana. When Quinique traveled for work, she frequently would leave A.G. with Anthony whenever she believed it to be in A.G.'s best interest. Anthony has been in the Army National Guard for approximately 20 years, and he has been a Readiness NCO in Litchfield, Illinois, for the past eight years. Prior to around October 30, 2013, Quinique and Anthony amicably accommodated each other's work requirements with regards to A.G.'s custody.

          [¶5] In August 2012, Quinique began working in North Dakota. Sometime during her stay in North Dakota, Quinique met her boyfriend, Leslie David Lee. In June of 2013, Quinique informed Anthony that she would be following Lee to Pennsylvania for work. Quinique asserts that this move was to be temporary and that both she and Lee expected to move to Texas for work thereafter. Anthony asserts that she told him " she would be moving to Pennsylvania for a permanent job with her boyfriend."

          [¶6] In August 2013, Quinique moved with Lee to Texas for work. Anthony asserts that she again told him she was leaving " for another permanent job." While en route to Texas, Quinique met Anthony in Nashville, Tennessee. During

Page 835

this meeting, she placed A.G. with Anthony. Anthony asserts that, during this exchange, Quinique told him that Lee did not want A.G. around and that she was seeking a way out of her relationship with Lee. Anthony further asserts that Quinique stated she hoped to move to Springfield, Illinois, or St. Louis, Missouri, in order to help normalize A.G.'s visitation with his father. Quinique maintained that the idea of moving closer was discussed only " in passing" and " was never a serious conversation." Prior to or during this exchange, Quinique and Anthony agreed that Anthony would enroll A.G. in school in Illinois for the fall 2013 semester. Quinique then left with Lee to begin work in Texas.

          [¶7] On October 26, 2013, Lee was murdered in Waco, Texas, while Quinique was present. Quinique was also beaten during the murder, and she spent two days in the hospital recovering. Anthony asserts that Quinique called him and A.G. shortly thereafter to inform them of what had happened. After searching online, Anthony found stories suggesting that Lee had died during a drug deal. Anthony also contacted a Waco, Texas, police detective working on the case to verify what he saw online. On October 30, 2013, based upon this information, Anthony filed a verified petition for an order of protection in the circuit court of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, Montgomery County, Illinois, which was given case number 2013-OP-255. Anthony listed himself, A.G., and Anthony's current wife as persons desiring protection from Quinique. In this petition, Anthony asked the court to enter an order that, among other relief, prevented Quinique from contacting or being present near himself, his wife, or A.G. Anthony listed Quinique's address as " 3541 Hwy 121, Boyce, LA 71409." Anthony also used that address for the purpose of serving summons to Quinique in the order of protection case. In the petition Anthony listed Quinique's work address as " near San Antonio TX." Though the record does not contain the relevant order, it appears from the record that the circuit court granted Anthony's request for an emergency order of protection and set for hearing his request for entry of a plenary order.

          [¶8] On November 18, 2013, the circuit court held a hearing in the order of protection case, 2013-OP-255, on Anthony's request for entry of a plenary order of protection. Anthony appeared with counsel, while Quinique appeared pro se. When asked at the hearing, Quinique stated she resided in Boyce, Louisiana. During the course of the hearing, Quinique was served in open court with a summons on a petition to enroll judgment and request for emergency temporary modification of custody that Anthony had just filed. This petition initiated in the circuit court 2013-MR-143, the case on appeal. In this petition, Anthony asked the court to enroll the Louisiana divorce judgment and custody arrangement and enter a temporary modification of custody. The petition further claimed that " [n]o party to this proceeding *** resides in the State of Louisiana." On the affidavit of service for this summons, Quinique's address was listed as unknown. The circuit court explained to Quinique the status of the two cases and the nature of the hearing before granting a recess for her to decide whether to retain counsel before proceeding. After recess, Quinique elected to proceed pro se for the hearing in the order of protection case.

          [¶9] At this hearing, Anthony testified regarding the phone call from Quinique regarding the murder, the Internet stories he found, and his discussions with the detective. According to Anthony, he had learned that Quinique and Lee were attempting to sell prescription drugs, Lee reached for a gun, and Lee was subsequently

Page 836

shot and killed. Anthony also stated he had been told Quinique was thrown on the ground and her purse was stolen. Anthony further stated he had been told the police lacked sufficient evidence to charge her with any crime. Anthony admitted he had no knowledge that suggested Quinique ...


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