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Johnson v. Johnson

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

December 2, 2008

Paula-Jean M. JOHNSON
v.
Robert L. JOHNSON.

Argued Sept. 15, 2008.

Page 638

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 639

John T. Asselin-Connolly, with whom, on the brief, was Richard E. Joaquin, for the appellant (defendant).

Michael A. Blanchard, New London, for the appellee (plaintiff).

Page 640

Paige Stevens Quilliam, Niantic, for the minor child.

DiPENTIMA, LAVINE and DUPONT, Js.

LAVINE, J.

[111 Conn.App. 415] The defendant, Robert L. Johnson, brings these consolidated appeals from the trial court's judgment granting the motion for contempt filed by the plaintiff, Paula-Jean M. Johnson, and from the court's judgment rendered following the subsequent compliance review hearing. In AC 28927, the defendant claims that the court abused its discretion when it (1) admitted hearsay during a hearing on the motion for contempt, (2) found him in contempt of the court's orders and (3) ordered him to secure the services of a therapist to effect compliance with the orders. In AC 29057, the defendant claims that the court abused its discretion when, after finding continued noncompliance with its orders, it ordered him to schedule psychological evaluations. We affirm both judgments of the trial court.

The following facts are relevant to both appeals. The plaintiff and the defendant divorced on April 4, 1995. Their only child, a son, was born on May 6, 1992. On August 18, 2005, the court rendered a postdissolution judgment on the basis of a stipulation the parties entered into on August 9, 2005. In the stipulation, the [111 Conn.App. 416] parties agreed to share legal custody of their son. The defendant obtained primary physical custody, while the plaintiff was granted considerable overnight visitation rights on weekends and during holidays and vacations. The parties agreed that the son would complete therapy sessions for the purposes of " reintroduction" to the plaintiff's new husband and agreed to cooperate regarding these sessions in every reasonable manner. They also agreed to refrain from undermining a healthy parent-child relationship and denigrating the other parent.

On October 27, 2006, the plaintiff filed a motion for contempt, claiming that the defendant had violated the orders of August 18, 2005, by sabotaging the therapy and delaying its commencement. The plaintiff also stated that her relationship with the son had deteriorated and that she had had no visitations with him since July, 2006.

On April 4 and May 17, 2007, the court heard testimony from the plaintiff, the defendant, the family therapist, the son's guardian ad litem and the attorney for the son. On June 6, 2007, the court issued a corrected memorandum of decision in which it found that the defendant wilfully violated the orders concerning visitations, therapy sessions and the avoidance of denigrating remarks against the plaintiff. The court ordered the defendant either to deliver the son for the next scheduled visitation or to secure the services of the family therapist to facilitate visitation.[1] On June 20, 2007, the defendant filed appeal AC 28927 from that judgment.

On July 16, 2007, the court called the parties into court to review compliance with the orders of June 6, 2007, and, after hearing from counsel for both parties, concluded that there had been none. The court ordered the defendant to schedule and to pay for a psychological [111 Conn.App. 417] evaluation for himself and the son. On August 1, 2007, the defendant filed appeal AC 29057 from that judgment. Further facts will be set forth as necessary.

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AC ...


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