Cass v. Classon, No. 83297, COA Order of Reversal and Remand (Unpublished Disposition, Feb. 11, 2022)

This is an appeal from a post-decree order regarding child custody.  The parties were divorced in 2018.  Pursuant to their decree, the parties were awarded joint legal and joint physical custody of their minor child.  In July of 2020, Cass moved for an order permitting the child to attend private school and Classon opposed.  At the time of the evidentiary hearing in February of 2021, the parties agreed that the child could attend McCaw, a magnet school, or Legacy at Cadence, a charter school.  The district court put the terms on the record and further noted that, if the parties could not agree to which school the child would attend, he would remain enrolled at his current public school.  In June of 2021, Cass filed another motion pertaining to the child’s school selection.  The child had been accepted at both Legacy at Cadence, near Classon’s residence, and Legacy at North Valley, near Cass’s residence.  Classon asserted she couldn’t transport the child to the one near her house, so Cass requested that the child be permitted to attend the Legacy location near his house.  The district court denied Cass’s motion.

On appeal, Cass argues that the district court failed to make specific findings regarding the Arcella factors.  Classon argued that the district court properly found that an evidentiary hearing was not warranted as the only basis for his motion was that the new school location was more convenient for him.  Here, the Court held that the length of a parent’s commute to a child’s school and other logistical concerns are one of the specifically enumerated factors the district court should consider in making an educational placement decision.  However, the parties both raised several arguments regarding the remaining Arcella factors, which the district court failed to make any findings on.  As such, the Court reversed and remanded.

 

Whittle v. Morris, No. 82660, COA Order of Affirmance (Unpublished Disposition, Feb. 11, 2022)

This is an appeal from a district court order establishing custody of a minor child.  The parties were never married but have one minor child together.  Whittle filed a complaint for custody in 2019, asking to be named the child’s father on the birth certificate and requesting joint legal and physical custody.  After an evidentiary hearing, the district court entered a 33-page order which, in part, awarded Morris primary physical custody.

On appeal, Whittle argued that the district court made inaccurate statements of facts in its decree and abused its discretion when it awarded Morris primary physical custody because the ruling was predicated on those inaccurate findings, which Whittle alleges were based on inadmissible hearsay evidence.  However, the Court could not fully analyze his claim of improper evidentiary determinations because he did not provide the Court with the transcript from the evidentiary hearing.  Regardless, the Court held that the district court’s order included specific findings of fact addressing the best interest of the child pursuant to NRS 125C.0035(4).  As such, the Court concluded that the record supports the district court’s decision to award Morris primary physical custody.

Marshal S. Willick
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