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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In December 1997, Kristin Parks and Lawrence James Clark were divorced. In the divorce decree they agreed to become joint managing conservators of their daughter. In March 2007, Clark filed a motion for enforcement of the decree by contempt and alleged, among other things, that on 12 separate occasions Parks denied his rightful access to the child. In May 2007, after hearing testimony from both Parks and Clark, the trial court found that Parks had violated the decree on at least five separate occasions by failing to allow Clark or his adult designee (Clark’s present wife) to have custody of their daughter for his scheduled period of possession. The court held Parks in contempt of the decree and, as punishment, immediately sentenced her to 180 days incarceration for each of the five violations, to run concurrently. Important to Parks’ habeas request, the trial court further ordered that Clark have possession of his daughter until further order of the court. Parks requested habeas corpus relief, asserting in three issues that she was being illegally restrained. HOLDING:The court granted the writ of habeas corpus. Parks contends that, in Clark’s motion for contempt, he sought only make-up sessions for the periods of possession that he missed when Parks failed to relinquish custody of their daughter, the relief prescribed by the Texas Family Code �157.168(a)(1). The court held that the trial court erred in granting Clark open-ended possession of the couple’s child beyond the period of Parks confinement. Nothing precluded a trial court from making arrangements for custody while one parent is confined as punishment for contempt, the court stated. The court, however, found that the trial court’s order granting possession to Clark until further order of the court removed Parks as the primary conservator of the child for the period of her confinement and beyond. That action, the court stated, was outside the scope of the court’s authority at a contempt proceeding, when the pleadings neither requested nor even mentioned a potential modification of the parties’ agreed custody arrangement. Thus, the court found that in modifying the custody arrangement in the divorce decree without prior notice and without limiting such a modification to make-up time or to time necessary due to the exigencies of incarceration, the trial court exceeded its contempt authority. Accordingly, the court concluded that the trial court failed to afford Parks sufficient due process of law when it granted open-ended possession of the child to Clark. OPINION:Bland, J.; Taft, Hanks and Bland, JJ.

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