Slavin Project: Ex Parte Sandefer

After the Pope Trilogy of 1967, Slavin was not cited by another case until Ex parte Sandefer, 461 S.W.2d 193 (Tex.App.–Eastland 1970, no writ) (per curiam). It’s a bit of a conundrum.

The opinion is short, not even 800 words. Though it cites Slavin for the proposition that to be enforceable by contempt, a decree must “set out the details of compliance in clear, specific, and unambiguous terms,” the opinion does not quote or provide the specific language at issue in the decree. It paraphrases the decree and states that the decree prohibited the parents from removing the children from the jurisdiction without the other parent’s consent or a court order. Yet the mother, Darlene Sandefer, moved with the children from Taylor County, Texas, to Dallas County–conduct the trial court found was in contempt of the judgment. Moving with the children to another county without the other parent’s consent or court permission might appear to violate the provisions, yet the court of appeals ordered Mrs. Sandefer discharged and held that the decree did not in clear, specific and unambiguous terms “make it mandatory that Mrs. Sandefer and the children live at the Abilene address.” Without knowing what the decree actually said, it’s hard to ask the question of whether or not the court of appeals got it right, much less divine some guidance for future cases.

Advertisements

One thought on “Slavin Project: Ex Parte Sandefer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s