Hand down list

Lisa Diann Crew v. Sidney Ellis Tillotson Jr  –  equitable division of property –  A North Carolina court granted Sidney Ellis Tillotson Jr. (Ellis) and Lisa Crew a divorce.  Lisa then filed a complaint for equitable distribution in the Warren County Chancery Court.  The chancellor determined that certain stock and other assets Ellis acquired during the marriage from Tillotson Enterprises Inc.  failed to constitute marital property.  On appeal, Lisa argues the chancellor erroneously classified TEI’s stock and other assets as nonmarital property, which resulted in an inequitable distribution of the marital estate.  On cross-appeal, Ellis contends the chancellor erred by not finding that Lisa’s complaint for equitable distribution was barred by res judicata.  The COA affirms.

https://courts.ms.gov/Images/Opinions/CO139193.pdfJonathan Bradley v. Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi – PERS disability –  Bradley worked as a correctional supervisor for MDOC.   Between August 2008 and September 2009, Bradley was temporarily removed from work by his doctor  for situational depression and anxiety.  In November 2009, Bradley complained of upper arm pain and sought treatment from a doctor who recommended physical therapy.  In January 2010, he slipped on ice and fell while escorting an offender after which he was treated for lower back pain on the left side and left shoulder pain.   In March 2011, Bradley tried to restrain an offender who had attacked another officer. Bradley was struck several times on his right forearm and shoulder, resulting in a swollen right arm.  In July 2012, Bradley terminated his employment after eight months of applying for duty related disability.  He cited pain in his right shoulder, right leg, and chronic back problems (from neck to tailbone) as the reason for his resignation. He applied for PERS disability benefits. The Committee agreed with the PERS Medical Board’s recommendation to deny both of Bradley’s claims for non-duty and duty-related disability benefits and submitted its recommendation to the PERS Board of Trustees, which agreed with the Committee.  Bradley then appealed to the Circuit Court of Hinds County, and the circuit court affirmed the PERS Board of Trustees’ order. The COA affirms.

Faith Abercrombie v. Jonathan Abercrombie custody/fraud – in 2014 filed for divorce in Lamar County alleging that he had lived in Mississippi for six months after he and Faith separated in Louisiana. He also alleged that Mississippi was their four-year-old child Reed’s home state under the UCCJEA.  In 2015, the chancellor granted Jonathan a divorce on habitual cruel and inhumane treatment. As Jonathan requested, the court granted custody to Faith   and ordered Jonathan to pay $250 a month in child support.   Faith appealed. While the appeal was pending, she filed a motion in the trial court to set aside the judgment claiming Jonathan had obtained the divorce via fraud. Jonathan responded by filing a motion for modification of visitation. The chancellor denied Faith’s motion and granted Jonathan’s.  Jonathan then filed a motion for contempt for Faith’s failure to abide by the visitation order.  The chancellor found her in contempt.  Both continued to file motions throughout 2018. In June 2018, Faith revealed that Jonathan was not Reed’s biological father,  Reed was born to Faith’s distant cousin.  Jonathan signed the birth certificate falsely claiming to be Reed’s father and Faith later adopted Reed.  The adoption petition falsely claimed that Jonathan was Reed’s father.   Jonathan admitted this was true. The chancellor vacated the parties’ divorce judgment because it had been obtained by a fraud on the court.  The chancellor also found both parties in contempt and ordered the Department of Child Protective Services to take custody of Reed (although, apparently, Reed remains in Faith’s custody in Louisiana). The COA finds that the chancellor was correct in denying Faith’s motions to set aside the judgment. “The chancery court’s jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination was established in three prior judgments, including one that was affirmed on appeal and two that Faith did not appeal.  Therefore, that issue is now res judicata.  As to the remaining issues in this appeal, we hold that the award of attorney’s fees must be vacated and may be reconsidered on remand, and we hold that Faith waived any issue with respect to child support by failing to designate an adequate record and by failing to appeal prior orders of the chancery court.”   

Christopher Word v. State of Mississippi –  trial in absentia – Word was convicted in Panola County for possession of 40 grams but less than 200 grams of MMB-FUBINACA and possession of 200 grams or more of 5-fluoro-ADB with intent.  On the day of trial. Word failed to appeal and he was convicted in absentia. On appeal he argues that it was error to try him in his absence and that the evidence was insufficient., The COA affirms.   

Pro Se
PCR appeals affirmed:

Benjamin Moses Cook  v. State of Mississippi

David Jackson v. State of Mississippi