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In re Marriage of Metzger

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Third Division

March 4, 2014

In re the Marriage of Tammy and RAPHAEL METZGER. TAMMY METZGER, Respondent,
v.
RAPHAEL METZGER, Appellant. EVE LOPEZ et al., Petitioners,
v.
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Respondent; RAPHAEL METZGER, Real Party in Interest.

[As modified Mar. 25, 2014.]

ORIGINAL PROCEEDINGS in mandate. Thomas Trent Lewis, Judge. Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. ND062399 Order The Petition for Writ of Mandate is dismissed as moot.

Page 1442

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1443

COUNSEL

Raphael Metzger in pro. per., for Appellant and Real Party in Interest.

Brandmeyer Gilligan & Dockstader and Brian K. Brandmeyer for Respondent Tammy Metzger and Petitioner Tammy Metzger.

Page 1444

Lopez & Grager and Eve Lopez for Petitioners and Minor.

No appearance for Respondent Superior Court.

OPINION

CROSKEY, J.

Appellant Raphael Metzger (Raphael), former husband of respondent Tammy Metzger (Tammy), appeals from an order appointing counsel to represent the parties’ minor daughter, M., in the parties’ custody dispute.[1] On appeal, Raphael contends that the order appointing minor’s counsel violated his constitutional rights and was an abuse of discretion. We disagree and affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Tammy and Raphael were married on November 2, 2003, and their daughter, M., was born the following year. On July 30, 2009, Tammy filed a petition to dissolve her marriage with Raphael. The court ordered a separate trial on child custody issues and scheduled trial for May 2011.

On April 12, 2011, Tammy requested a trial continuance in order to give her time to have M. evaluated for developmental delays. Tammy stated that she had only recently become aware that her daughter might have autism. Raphael opposed the request for a continuance. He argued that Tammy had already obstructed the progress of the proceedings by refusing to stipulate to a separate trial on child custody issues, failing to appear for her deposition, and refusing to agree to alternate dates for her deposition, among other actions. Raphael also argued that Tammy’s “ ‘new’ concern about developmental delay has no basis in reality, [wa]s a stall tactic, and fail[ed] to justify a continuance of the trial.”

It appears that the court granted multiple trial continuances.[2] On January 20, 2012, the court entered a judgment of dissolution as to marital status only. The trial on custody issues appears to have begun in early 2013 and was eventually continued to October 21, 2013. In or around August 2013, it appears that Tammy filed a request for an order for an autism evaluation of ...


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