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Ex parte Runnels

Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler

June 19, 2019

EX PARTE: WILLIAM A. RUNNELS, RELATOR

          ORIGINAL PROCEEDING

          Panel consisted of Worthen, C.J., Hoyle, J., and Neeley, J.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Brian Hoyle Justice

         William A. Runnels, acting pro se, filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus to challenge Respondent's March 22, 2019, order for contempt.[1]We deny the writ.

         Background

         This is a suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR).[2] Domanita Craddock-Neal, the Real Party in Interest, and Runnels are the parents of N.V.R., D.A.R., and J.T.R. In 2016, Craddock-Neal was granted the exclusive right to determine the children's primary residence. Subsequently, on December 17, 2018, Respondent signed an order in suit to modify the parent-child relationship, which contained the following provision:

Permanent Mutual Injunction
The Court finds that it is in the best interest of the parties and the children that a permanent mutual injunction against them should be granted as appropriate relief because there is no adequate remedy at law.
The permanent mutual injunction granted below shall be effective immediately and shall be binding on WILLIAM ANDRE RUNNELS and DOMANITA ROSHUN CRADDOCK-NEAL; on their agents, servants, employees, and attorneys; and on those persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of this order by personal service or otherwise.
IT IS ORDERED that WILLIAM ANDRE RUNNELS and DOMANITA ROSHUN CRADDOCK-NEAL are permanently mutually enjoined from:
…Using corporal punishment on any minor child the subject of this suit at any time, or allowing a third person to use corporal punishment on any minor child the subject of this suit at any time.

         On March 11, 2019, Craddock-Neal filed a second amended motion for enforcement of injunction, in which she alleged that Runnels violated this provision by using corporal punishment on N.V.R., which escalated into an assault and resulted in his arrest for assault family violence. She alleged that Runnels's son videotaped the incident at Runnels's request.

         On March 22, Respondent signed an order in which he found that Runnels used corporal punishment on N.V.R. on January 12, 2019, in violation of the permanent mutual injunction. Respondent held Runnels in contempt and assessed confinement in the county jail for a period of one-hundred eighty days. This proceeding followed and, on June 4, this Court granted Runnels's request for release on bond pending final resolution of this proceeding.[3]

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