WRANGLER J. GEE, Petitioner/Appellant,
JEFFREY A. BELAIR and APRIL D. BELAIR, Respondents/Appellees.
Mandate Issued: 09/20/2017
FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF NOBLE COUNTY, OKLAHOMA HONORABLE
NIKKI G. LEACH, TRIAL JUDGE
Scott Loftis, Ponca City, Oklahoma, for Petitioner/Appellant
K. Yates, HOLMES AND YATES LAW, PLLC, Ponca City, Oklahoma,
The plaintiff, Wrangler J. Gee (Gee), appeals an Order
dismissing his action against the defendants, Jeffrey A.
Belair and April D. Belair (collectively, Belairs).
On September 21, 2014, Chloe Rose (Rose) gave birth to R.B.
On February 18, 2015, Belairs finalized their adoption of
On November 30, 2015, Gee filed this action. He sought to
establish that he was the biological father of R.B. He
alleged that Rose did not inform him that he was the father
and that she specifically told him he was not the father. He
further alleged that he was not given notice of the adoption
and that 10 O.S.2011, § 7505-2.1 was not followed, but
the petition did not allege any specifics. 
Belairs filed a special appearance and motion to dismiss. In
their motion, Belairs relied upon three time limitation
periods. First, they alleged that Gee's parental rights
were terminated and the time to appeal from the termination
order expired. Second, the time to appeal a decree of
adoption expired. Last, they rely upon the provisions of 10
O.S.2011, § 7505-7.2. This statute provides:
A. Except as otherwise provided by paragraph 3 of subsection
B of Section 7503-2.7 of this title:  1. When an
interlocutory or final decree of adoption has been rendered,
a decree terminating parental rights cannot be challenged on
any ground, either by a direct or a collateral attack, more
than three (3) months after its rendition. The minority of
the natural parent shall not operate to prevent this time
limit from running; and
2. No adoption may be challenged on any ground either by a
direct or collateral attack more than three (3) months after
the entry of the final adoption decree regardless of whether
the decree is void or voidable, and the minority or
incompetence of the natural parent shall not operate to
prevent this time limit from running.
B. In any challenge on any ground either by a direct or
collateral attack, the court shall not enter a decision which
is contrary to the best interests of the adopted minor.
The trial court focused upon the three month provision. Gee
argued that the time period was tolled and did not commence
until he discovered the fraud allegedly perpetrated by Rose.
In their response, Belairs argued that the discovery rule did
not apply according to the statute and any authority
preceding the enactment of the statute no longer constituted
authority due to the fact that the statute amended prior
The trial court agreed with Belairs and dismissed the action.
Matters involving legislative intent present questions of law
which are examined independently and without deference to the
trial court's ruling. Heffron v. District Court of
Oklahoma County, 2003 OK 75, ¶ 15, 77 P.3d 1069,
1076. The appellate court has the plenary, independent, and
nondeferential authority to reexamine a trial court's
legal rulings. Neil Acquisition, L.L.C. v. Wingrod
Investment Corp., 1996 OK 125, 932 P.2d 1100 n.1.