16 Feb Better to Read the Round Up than the Opinions

A sad output from the Court of Appeals this week. No reported cases. The real news is that there is no real news.

Yiting Wu v. Chun-Hsien Wu, 2022-CA-1128

Readers will want to take a look at this doozy from Jefferson Family Court. Judge Ogden presided over a case that had a little bit of everything, including international jurisdiction (both Hague Convention and UCCJEA), inconvenient forum arguments, claims for recusal, contempt, and an award of sole custody. The Court of Appeals, after overlooking procedural violations in the briefs, affirmed all issues except one—the granting of sole custody without notice. The Mother pointed out that the Court was only going to review custody following a Motion for Temporary Custody, and the scheduling orders do not mention a final custody hearing. Therefore, the Court of Appeals applied the rule from London v. Collins that mandated notice in a custody hearing (based on the fact that there are constitutional implications regarding children and custody). As a result, custody was vacated. However, the case is being remanded to Family Court, and, in all probability, the Father will win when he gets a second bite at the custody apple. We’d file this one under “Short-Lived Victories”. Unreported. http://opinions.kycourts.net/COA/2022-CA-001128.PDF

Keith Farrow v. Mary Farrow, 2022-CA-1295

This week’s snoozer Opinion is from a divorce in Campbell County. Reading Opinions like this should be the punishment for bad behavior for lawyers or judges. The writing is painfully slow and leaves the reader thinking, “What is the point?” The name of the appellate judge author is being withheld to protect the guilty. The underlying case was reversed in part and affirmed in part – but who cares? Unreported. http://opinions.kycourts.net/COA/2022-CA-001295.PDF

N.H. v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, CHFS, A.S. III, and I.J.R.S., a child, 2023-CA-0150
And related and similar cases

The Court of Appeals affirmed three terminations of parental rights in separate opinions. The cases (from Todd, Daviess, and Bullitt Counties) had little in common, but the opinions are mostly the same. The Court of Appeals gives the facts, recites the statutory standard, and then affirms the Family Court Judge. Unless you are a party, there is no reason to read the Opinions. However, if you are going to read just one, go for the Bullitt County case. The mother’s counsel, the very able Monica Shahayda, raises interesting arguments in her brief. One included whether she could invoke her Fifth Amendment rights in her court-ordered counseling sessions. Another focused on whether the Cabinet can claim she failed to support the children when they never sought or obtained a child support order in the case. Despite these innovative arguments, Judge Taylor slams the door shut on this appeal. All of the cases are Unreported. Thankfully.
Bullitt Family Court: http://opinions.kycourts.net/COA/2023-CA-000150.PDF
Daviess Family Court: http://opinions.kycourts.net/COA/2023-CA-000765.PDF
Todd Circuit Court: http://opinions.kycourts.net/COA/2023-CA-000924.PDF

Ninamary Buba v. Thomas Maginnis, 2023-CA-0991

And, last but not least, the Return of Maginnis. Careful readers will remember the parties from the great chimney-sweep valuation case. If you don’t recall, click here to view our opinion of the initial case in the third paragraph or here for the CoA Opinion. In this case, the issue was whether a DVO should be extended for an additional 3 years. Judge Calvert said no. The Court of Appeals found the proof was good enough to be affirmed but also stated that it would affirm the denial of the extension. If anything, the case is a testament to the fact that Family Court has tremendous latitude in decision-making. And knows how to drop in a Latin phrase for some oomph. Unreported. http://opinions.kycourts.net/COA/2023-CA-000991.PDF

This week’s criminal tally: Prosecution 3, Defendants Nada

Click here to read last week’s Round Up.