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Shields v. Kimble

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

March 9, 2016

AMBER KIMBLE SHIELDS, APPELLANT
v.
MITCHELL KIMBLE, APPELLEE

         Counsel Amended March 11, 2016.

Page 792

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 793

          APPEAL FROM THE RANDOLPH COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. DR-07-54. HONORABLE PHILIP GREGORY SMITH, JUDGE.

         Amber Kimble, appellant, Pro se.

         Devon N. Holder, for appellee.

         Philip Gregory Smith

         RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge. HARRISON and GLOVER, JJ., agree.

          OPINION

Page 794

          RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge.

         Amber Kimble Shields appeals the Randolph County Circuit Court's order awarding Mitchell Kimble $15,539.94 in attorney's fees and costs for Shields's contemptuous conduct and sentencing Shields to 120 days in jail if she did not pay the sum within 180 days. On appeal, Shields argues that (1) the contempt finding infringes on the principles set forth in the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (" UCCJEA" ) because a Montana court properly exercised emergency jurisdiction over the case; (2) the contempt finding is void because the court's order conflicted with a Montana order; (3) the contempt finding is invalid because she relied on professional advice to not return their daughter, B.K., to Arkansas; (4) the contempt finding is based on insufficient evidence; (5) the hearings on September 13, 2010, and June 30, 2014, violated her due-process rights; and (6) the court-ordered supervised visitation violated her due-process rights and her right as a fit parent. We affirm.[1]

         The parties have been engaged in extensive litigation beginning with their divorce in the Randolph County Circuit Court on May 2, 2007. In the uncontested divorce decree, the court awarded custody of B.K. to Shields subject to visitation with Kimble. Shortly after the divorce, in September 2007, Shields and B.K. moved to Montana.

         On May 30, 2008, Kimble filed a petition for change of custody or to set specific visitation in the Randolph County Circuit Court. On June 26, 2008, Shields filed an objection to jurisdiction, alleging that Arkansas did not retain jurisdiction of the case under the UCCJEA and that Montana would be a more appropriate forum to determine the best interest of the child. In July 2008, Shields married Jeremy Shields.

         On August 25, 2008, Shields informed the court that Kimble had lodged with the Montana Department of Human Services (" MDHS" ) an allegation of sexual abuse of B.K. that was still being investigated. Specifically, the allegations of abuse stemmed from the child's statements to Kimble that Jeremy had showered with her.

         On November 13, 2008, the circuit court denied Shields's objection to jurisdiction. On April 14, 2009, the court held a hearing on Kimble's petition to change custody, and on May 7, 2009, the court granted Kimble's petition and awarded him custody of B.K., subject to reasonable visitation with Shields. Shields appealed the May 7, 2009 order to this court, asserting that the circuit court should have declined jurisdiction and erred in awarding Kimble custody of B.K.

         During the appeal proceedings, on August 20, 2009, Shields petitioned the Randolph County Circuit Court for an emergency change of custody, alleging that B.K.'s stepbrother in Arkansas had sexually abused her. The Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children investigated the allegations and found them unsubstantiated. The circuit court then denied Shields's petition. On June 2, 2010, this court affirmed the circuit court's May 7, 2009 order. See Shields v. Kimble, 2010 Ark.App. 479, 375 S.W.3d 738.

         On August 3, 2010, while B.K. was visiting Shields in Montana for the summer, MDHS ...


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