This is an appeal from a trial court judgment overruling a declinatory exception pleading the objection of improper venue.
In 1986, Nathaniel Jackson Clark and Kathleen Arms Clark were engaged in a custody dispute concerning their minor child, Lauren Paige Clark. Ms. Clark sought sole custody, while Mr. Clark sought joint custody of Lauren. Mr. Clark's rule for joint custody came to trial before the First Judicial District Court in Caddo Parish. On November 26, 1986, the court rendered judgment, granting Kathleen Arms Clark sole custody of the minor child subject to Mr. Clark's limited visitation. Mr. Clark's visitation was to be supervised during the two months following the rendition of judgment, and Mr. Clark was ordered to submit to a psychological evaluation. The court also ordered a "home study" by the Louisiana State Department of Health and Human Resources.
In a judgment rendered in Caddo Parish on April 28, 1987, Mr. Clark's visitation privileges were suspended until he completed professional psychological therapy and proved, upon application to the court, that visitation would not cause physical, emotional, or psychological damage to the child. The court reserved the right to impose such restrictions, conditions, and safeguards with respect to the visitation, including the supervision of the said visitation, as necessary to minimize any risk of harm to the child, under the provisions of LSA-C.C. art. 147.
In December of 1987, Mr. Clark unsuccessfully sought joint custody and specified visitation. The Caddo Parish court's denial of Mr. Clark's request was affirmed on appeal. See Clark v. Clark, 550 So.2d 913, 914 (La.App. 2nd Cir.1989).
On June 6, 1990, Mr. Clark filed the instant suit for visitation and to make the April 28, 1987, Caddo Parish judgment executory in St. Tammany Parish. Mr. Clark alleged that Ms. Clark was now domiciled in St. Tammany Parish, that he had fulfilled the conditions of the Caddo Parish judgment, and that he, therefore, was entitled to scheduled visitation with the minor child and to certain other privileges concerning her.
In response to Mr. Clark's efforts, Ms. Clark filed a declinatory exception pleading the objection of improper venue. In support of her exception, Ms. Clark argued
Thereafter, Mr. Clark filed a supplemental and amending petition, seeking a change of custody, and alternatively, visitation privileges.
The trial court overruled Ms. Clark's declinatory exception pleading the objection of improper venue. Ms. Clark now appeals from this adverse judgment, raising the following issue:
Jurisdiction is a separate and distinct legal concept from venue. Sims v. Sims, 388 So.2d 428, 430 (La.App. 2nd Cir.), writ denied, 394 So.2d 612 (La.1980). Jurisdiction is the power and authority of a court to hear and determine an action or proceeding and to grant the relief to which the parties are entitled. LSA-C.C.P. art. 1. If jurisdictional requirements are met, courts throughout the state have the legal power and authority to hear the case; however, not all courts with jurisdiction are in the proper venue. See Comment, Louisiana's New Venue Law for Child Custody Suits: A Critique, 45 La.L.Rev. 107, 108-09 (1984).
Venue is not concerned with the power and authority of a court. Venue means the parish where an action or proceeding may be brought and tried under the rules regulating the subject. LSA-C.C.P. art. 41; Fogleman Truck Line, Inc. v. Southern Bulk Carriers, Inc., 532 So.2d 226, 227 (La.App. 3rd Cir.1988); Sims v. Sims, 388 So.2d at 430.
In 1983, LSA-C.C.P. art. 74.2 was enacted to provide a venue for proceedings to obtain custody or to change custody. Fournier v. Fournier, 475 So.2d 400, 401 (La.App. 1st Cir.), writ denied, 477 So.2d 1130 (La.1985). See also LSA-C.C.P. art. 74.2, Official Comment (a). LSA-C.C.P. art. 74.2, which addresses proceedings concerning custody, support, and forum non conveniens, provides as follows:
Ms. Clark concedes that, if Mr. Clark's suit is characterized as a proceeding to change custody, under LSA-C.C.P. art. 74.2 venue is proper in the parish where the custody decree was rendered (Caddo
Louisiana jurisprudence has long treated visitation as a species of custody. Maxwell v. LeBlanc, 434 So.2d 375, 377 (La.1983). Moreover, jurisprudence has described visitation as an adjunctive custodial relationship. Thompson v. Thompson, 559 So.2d 4, 6 (La.App. 1st Cir.1990); Steagall v. Steagall, 442 So.2d 732, 735 (La.App. 1st Cir.1983). See also Downey v. Downey, 183 La. 424, 164 So. 160, 161 (1935); Kreshel v. Kreshel, 326 So.2d 887, 888 (La.App. 2nd Cir.1976); Lewis v. Lewis, 148 So.2d 420, 421 (La.App. 1st Cir.1962), writ refused, 244 La. 129, 150 So.2d 588 (1963).
Mr. Clark's pleadings involve a request to change the restrictions on his visitation privileges, an aspect of a custody decree. As such, Mr. Clark's suit is governed by the provisions of LSA-C.C.P. art. 74.2 B. Mr. Clark filed suit in the parish of the domicile of the custodial parent, which is one of the proper venues set forth in LSA-C.C.P. art. 74.2 B.
For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the trial court, overruling Ms. Clark's declinatory exception pleading the objection of improper venue, is affirmed. Costs of this appeal are assessed to Ms. Clark.