FROM THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 49PR-17-36]
HONORABLE JERRY RYAN, JUDGE
Law, by: Kimberly Eden, for appellant.
Schulze Murphy & Patterson, by: J.G. "Gerry"
Schulze and Ruthanne N. Murphy, for appellees.
Kristin Chelstrom appeals from an order entered in the
Montgomery County Circuit Court granting the adoption of her
child, EC, to appellees Brandy and Randall Chelstrom (the
Chelstroms). We dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
is the adopted daughter of the Chelstroms. On June 9, 2017,
the Chelstroms filed a petition to adopt their granddaughter,
EC, who was born December 6, 2016. Before filing the adoption
petition, Kristin purportedly signed a consent to adoption,
which was dated March 26, 2017, but was not acknowledged by a
notary public, nor did it contain any language about the
amount of time the mother had to withdraw the consent. That
same day, Kristin signed a revocation of consent to
appointment of guardians (that was in favor of Scott and
Mindy Schales); it, too, was not acknowledged by a notary
public, but Kristin later conceded that she signed
After an uncontested hearing for which Kristin was not
present and that took place in the court's chambers where
no transcript was made, the adoption decree was entered June
20, 2017. In granting the adoption, the decree stated in
1. This Court has jurisdiction of this matter. Petitioners
are the maternal grandparents of the child to be adopted, and
have guardianship of the child pursuant to a probate matter
in this jurisdiction. The child is currently living with the
. . . .
3. Based upon Petitioners' testimony, the Court finds it
is in the child's best interest for the child to be
adopted by Petitioners. The Petitioners have been the
child's grandparents and caretakers for the majority of
the decree made no mention of the consent that Kristin
executed on March 26.
learning of the adoption of EC via text message from the
Chelstroms, Kristin filed a petition to open adoption
records, a motion for new trial claiming she did not consent
to the adoption, and a notice of appeal and designation of
record on June 30, 2017. On July 10, 2017, the Chelstroms
responded to the motions. On July 19, 2017, Kristin replied
to the Chelstroms' response to motion for new trial and
motion to set aside adoption decree. A hearing was conducted
that same day on July 19, 2017, during which Kristin
testified that she did not sign the consent to adoption but
that she did sign the revocation of consent to the
appointment-of-guardians form. Both documents were dated
March 26, 2017. The Chelstroms testified that they witnessed
Kristin willingly sign the consent form. Brandy Chelstrom
testified that EC had never spent a night away from their
home and that it was Kristin's idea for the Chelstroms to
adopt EC. Brandy Chelstrom also stated that she and her
husband waited approximately seventy days after Kristin had
signed the consent form to give her an opportunity to
motion for new trial was deemed denied on July 31, 2017.
Despite being one day late, the circuit court filed an order
denying the motion for new trial. However, the circuit court
lost jurisdiction to consider Kristin's motion because it
had been deemed denied by operation of law. The court's
order was consequently void and of no effect. See Carruth
v. Carruth, 2013 Ark.App. 213, at 3, 427 S.W.3d 117,
appeal, Kristin challenges the adoption, arguing that the
consent was not properly executed. As a threshold matter, we
must address whether we have jurisdiction over this appeal. A
timely notice of appeal is a jurisdictional requirement.
Jewell v. Moser, 2012 Ark. 267, at 4. Lacking a
timely notice of appeal, the court has no jurisdiction to
consider other issues raised on appeal. Id. We are
required to raise the issue of subject-matter jurisdiction on
our own motion. Id.
4(b)(1) of the Arkansas Rules of Appellate Procedure-Civil
governs the extension of time for filing a notice of appeal
when a motion for new trial has ...