Garner v. Taylor
Case #: A144895
Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Sercombe, J.; and Hadlock, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A144895.pdf
Family Law: A trial court cannot, on its own motion, set aside a prior judgment of visitation rights absent extraordinary circumstances.
Garner appealed the action of the trial court that set aside a 2007 judgment for Garner’s visitation rights. Garner was the nonparent of a minor child and was awarded visitation rights in 2007. She then sought to have the judgment modified seeking more visitation rights. The trial court denied all requested relief and, on its own motion, set aside the 2007 judgment when it decided that the proper statutory analysis had not been conducted. Garner appealed on three assignments of error: (1) the trial court did not have sufficient basis for the action; (2) it improperly evaluated her relationship with the child; and (3) it erred in determining that visitation was not in the child’s best interests. The Court of Appeals agreed that the trial court had lacked a sufficient basis for setting aside the 2007 judgment because because there were no extraordinary circumstances to justify the action. The Court, however, rejected the other two assignments of error and held that the trial court had the discretion to deny Garner’s motion. Judgment setting aside default judgment reversed; otherwise affirmed.