19 Jan Welcome to the Court of Appeals Round Up!

Each week, the Kentucky Court of Appeals releases their Opinions every week on Friday mornings. The staff here at Helmers + Associates waits with bated breath for these opinions each week. We have decided to make the internal Round Up available for public consumption for the low, low price of nothing. [Note: you get what you pay for, and there are no refunds].

The Round Up usually takes the form of a quick summary of the case, and if lucky, we include our opinion on the Opinion. Occasionally, there might be commentary, predictions, and helpful hints. We are most interested in family law cases, but we throw in some other noteworthy cases from time to time. A link to each Opinion is provided so you know that we’re not just making it all up.

Without further ado, here is the first Round Up!

I think this is a subpar week from the Court of Appeals. (Note: I am going to alert the local news outlets that the Court has gone to part-time status.)

The KY Court of Appeals affirms Judge Santry’s decision to enter a DVO. The husband, who was found to have committed DV, appealed. His argument was that an incident at the child’s track practice that did not allege physical contact was not domestic violence. The wife, who had described the diatribe as his being “untethered”, sought protection due to his allegedly escalating behavior. The Trial Court agreed with her.  The husband argued that prior dismissed allegations should not be used against him. The Ct of Appeals agreed but noted that the prior allegations were used only as history, and the Family Court based its decision on the track practice behavior. The Court noted that, while it might have decided differently, the trial courts are given great deference as finders of fact. Unreported. http://opinions.kycourts.net/COA/2023-CA-000817.PDF

Despite a divorce case being “run of the mill”, the Court of Appeals reversed Boone Family Court on issues related to the division of the marital residence and maintenance while affirming student loans. The case was decided by one judge, and then the post-trial motions were addressed by a second judge (who was seemingly reluctant to disturb the prior findings). The Court of Appeals was not impressed with the judges’ lack of explanation of why the house’s value was divided with 100% to the wife and 0% to the husband. With no explanation, the case was reversed – and the trial court was tasked with revisiting the house division along with maintenance, life insurance, and other issues that might be tied to the house division imbalance. [Lessons to be learned: Lawyers should ask for Specific Findings. Judges have to give them.] The Court of Appeals ruled that the husband’s student loans were the husband’s. But we knew that was gonna happen. Unreported. http://opinions.kycourts.net/COA/2023-CA-000266.PDF

It is an interesting case from Jefferson County with a mixed bag of issues. This is the second, third, and fourth appeal (consolidated) after the first appeal resulted in a reversal of Judge Calvert. The primary issue was related to the personal goodwill v. business goodwill of a chimney sweep business. On remand, the Family Court ultimately found that most of the goodwill was personal and, therefore, not subject to division. Based on this, the Court also had to tackle maintenance claims. On the interest scale (1 to 10), we rank this case as a three. So, unless you have a valuation claim involving chimney sweeping, you can probably skip the analysis of this unreported decision. http://opinions.kycourts.net/COA/2022-CA-000038.PDF

This week’s criminal law tally: Prosecutors 2, Defendants 0.


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By Alfredo Flores