IN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP AND CONSERVATORSHIP OF JAMES PERRY DAVIS, Ward.
KATHERINE KERR-DAVIS, Defendant-Appellee. MISTY M. DAVIS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
from the Iowa District Court for Washington County, Randy S.
sister of the adult ward appeals from the district
court's order denying her petition for visitation.
M. Davis, Cedar Rapids, pro se appellant.
Arbuckle of Craig Arbuckle Law Office, Washington, for
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.
POTTERFIELD, Presiding Judge.
Davis appeals from the district court's order denying her
petition to initiate visitation with her adult brother,
maintains Katherine, her step-mother and the guardian of
James, is keeping him from her. Misty first petitioned the
court to initiate visitation with her brother in June 2015.
Before the matter came on for hearing, Misty and Katherine
reached an agreement, which the district court then
incorporated into its October 7, 2015 order. The order noted
that it was not granting Katherine the authority to deny
communications, visits, or interactions between Misty and
James but indicated Katherine did have the authority to
"place reasonable restrictions." The order provided
for a "slow progression of reunification efforts to
reestablish" the relationship between Misty and James,
beginning with Misty sending James a letter. Additionally, it
stated James was to begin therapy after January 1, 2016.
17, 2016, Misty filed a motion for visitation. In the motion,
Misty claimed that she had made reasonable attempts to
reestablish her relationship with James, including
"numerous communications in writing and by telephone
through counsel." She maintains Katherine had
"acted in a manner consistent with intent to thwart such
reunification and reestablishment of the prior
relationship." In response, the court issued an order
indicating it understood Misty's motion to be an
application for contempt sanctions. The matter was set for
hearing in August 2016. We have no transcript or statement of
the proceedings before us in the record. See Iowa R.
App. P. 6.806(1).
court issued a written ruling on August 26, 2016. The court
denied Misty's motion for visitation, stating in part:
Misty wanted and hoped that after receiving the letter that
the Ward would write her back, telling her that he wanted to
talk to her and see her. However, that was merely Misty's
hope and it was not reality, as the Ward made it absolutely
clear that he wanted no contact with Misty.
An examination of the protocol for reunification between
Misty and the Ward clearly establishes that the process (if
it was to continue) was dependent upon the letter writing
supporting the reunification. Since it did not, the
reunification process has stalled. The Court cannot and will
not subject the Ward to emotional distress and ultimately
trauma by requiring him to have contact with Misty.
Unfortunately for Misty, the response from the Ward was not
what she expected or wanted. However, she is stuck with it.
Misty argues that the Ward was influenced by the Guardian
into not wanting contact with Misty. The overwhelming
evidence is to the contrary. Both case workers, the Guardian
Ad Litem, the Ward's therapist and a primary caretaker
all testified that the Ward does not want contact with Misty,
and that they observed no evidence that the Ward was
influenced in that opinion by the Guardian.
court also denied the application for contempt, concluding,
"Misty Davis did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt
that the Guardian willfully violated a Court Order. This
Court finds that the Guardian did not violate the Order in
any way and, in fact, has fulfilled the Order." Misty