Court says it might dismiss Mary Winkler’s custody appeal

The Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Jackson has issued an order stating that it appears the court lacks jurisdiction to hear an appeal filed by Mary Winkler in her case seeking custody of her three children.

In the order filed last Friday, the Court of Appeals said that Winkler has until this Friday to show cause why the court should not dismiss her appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

It appears that her application should have been filed in circuit court instead of with the appeals court, according to the order.

Winkler had asked the Court of Appeals to order Madison County Juvenile Court to hear her custody petitions before a Carroll County Chancery Court judge hears a petition from her in-laws. The appeals court had ordered a stay in the chancery court proceedings while it considered her request.

Winkler, 33, was sentenced last Friday on a voluntary manslaughter conviction for the shooting death of her husband, Selmer Fourth Street Church of Christ minister Matthew Winkler. With credit for time served, she has begun serving what amounts to 67 days incarceration. She likely will spend seven days of that in jail and 60 days in a mental health facility, her attorneys have said.

Winkler is in a battle with her husband’s parents, Dan and Diane Winkler of Huntingdon, for custody of her three girls, Patricia, 9, Mary Alice (Allie), 7, and Brianna, 2.

Dan and Diane Winkler filed their petition in chancery court in Carroll County seeking to end Mary Winkler’s parental rights and to adopt their grandchildren.

Meanwhile, Madison County Juvenile Court Judge Christy Little decided to postpone Mary Winkler’s case in that court in which she was seeking the immediate return of her children and to set aside an agreed custody order she initially had with her in-laws. Little’s ruling was that Mary Winkler’s case needed to be postponed until the chancery court case was heard.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday June 14, 2007.
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