Case Notes: Another Court of Appeals, Post-Shelton, “open and obvious”, slip and fall, jury question, question – Ward vs. JKP Investments LLC and James Kevin Porter, COA Published 1/23/2015

Attorneys representing the injured claimants on the appeals in the Shelton v. Kentucky Easters Seals and Dicks Sporting Goods vs. Webb, both argued on same date. From Left to right - Kelly Spencer &  Brad Slutskin for Betty Webb, Joe Pepper for Wilma Jean Shelton, and Kevin Burke on Amicus Brief for Kentucky Justice Association

Attorneys representing the injured claimants on the appeals in the Shelton v. Kentucky Easters Seals and Dicks Sporting Goods vs. Webb, both argued on same date.
From Left to right – Kelly Spencer & Brad Slutskin for Betty Webb, Joe Pepper for Wilma Jean Shelton, and Kevin Burke on Amicus Brief for Kentucky Justice Association

The title of this post says it all, and to put it in perspective, I will lead with Judge Maze’s dissent from the majority in this decision (Judges Vanmeter and Kramer (formerly Moore)).  I was present during the oral arguments before the Supreme Court of Kentucky, have read the triad of decisions by SCOKY, and most unabashedly must confess Judge Maze, in my humble opinion, got it right.

And, when it comes to the human mind and foreseeability, I refer you to the book “the invisible gorilla” by Christoper Chabris and Daniel Simons.

Chief Justice Minton said it best, as follows, in Shelton:

We alter the analysis performed in this and future cases of this sort such that a court no longer makes a no-duty determination but, rather, makes a nobreach determination, dismissing a claim on summary judgment or directed verdict when there is no negligence as a matter of law, the plaintiff having failed to show a breach of the applicable duty of care. This approach places the reasonable-foreseeability analysis where it belongs—in the hands of the factfinders, the jury. This approach continues Kentucky’s, along with a growing number of states’, slow, yet steady, progress to modernize our tort law and eliminate unfair obstacles to the presentation of legitimate claims. And this approach brings transparency and consistency to the decision-making and reasoning of Kentucky’s judges.

Here are the three decisions from SCOKY:

I would suspect this issue will go up to the Supreme Court for a third time.  Especially, since attorney Joe Pepper was arguing for the injured party in both Shelton vs. Kentucky Easter Seals and Janice Ward vs. JKP Investments.  And come heck or high water, my wife, Diane and I will be present again.

Janice Ward vs. JKP Investments, LLC
COA Published 1/23/2015
Opinion affirming; Jefferson Cir. Ct. (Judge James M. Shake)
VANMETER, JUDGE: Janice Ward appeals from the Jefferson Circuit Court’s order dismissing via summary judgment her personal injury action against JKP Investments, LLC. Upon review of the record and applicable law, we affirm.

* * *

The Jefferson Circuit Court’s order is affirmed.

KRAMER, JUDGE, CONCURS.

MAZE, JUDGE, DISSENTS AND FILES SEPARATE OPINION.

MAZE, JUDGE, DISSENTING: I respectfully dissent. Though I find no fault with my colleagues’ summation of current premises liability law in Kentucky, I nevertheless believe that law compels a different result in the present case.

Following an initial attempt in Kentucky River Medical Center v. McIntosh, 319 S.W.3d 385 (Ky. 2010), our Supreme Court recently continued its efforts to square Kentucky’s premises liability law with the Commonwealth’s adherence to the doctrine of comparative negligence. Most notably, in Shelton v. Kentucky Easter Seals Society, Inc., 413 S.W.3d 901, 904 (Ky. 2013), the Supreme Court stated its intention to “alter the analysis performed in this and future cases of this sort such that a court no longer makes a no-duty determination but, rather, makes a no-breach determination” and to place “the reasonable-foreseeability analysis where it belongs-in the hands of the fact-finders, the jury.” The impact of the Court’s reasoning in Shelton, and even Dicks Sporting Goods, Inc. v. Webb, 413 S.W.3d 891 (Ky. 2013), on summary judgment in premises liability cases could hardly have been greater.

In its opinion in the present appeal, the majority contends that because the condition of the stair was not concealed, and because the plaintiff failed to observe its condition throughout her previous trips up and down the stairs, the risk posed by the crumbling step was not unreasonable. Hence, my colleagues conclude that “reasonable minds cannot differ or it would be unreasonable for a jury to find breach or causation” and that summary judgment was appropriate.

Due to the aforementioned changes in premises liability law, I must disagree with my colleagues, as I believe the case requires a jury’s determination.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Shelton expressly eliminated much of the emphasis on a condition’s “open and obvious” nature, removing it as a fact which, if shown, would absolve a defendant of his duty and placing it as a mere factor to be considered in determining breach and causation. This shifted the analysis from one of legal calculation to one of factual determination only to be summarily ended when reasonable minds could not differ as to breach and causation. I proffer that this is not the case.

Rather, in light of our Supreme Court’s decision in Shelton, I contend that the questions of foreseeability, Janice’s attention or inattention to the condition of the step and where she was stepping, and the open and obvious nature of the step must remain to inform a jury’s analysis of the defendant’s breach and even the comparative fault of the parties in this case. While the Supreme Court announced that summary judgment remains a viable possibility in premises liability cases, it is undeniably more difficult to obtain after Shelton. This being the case, and on these facts, I believe it was inappropriate for the trial court to grant summary judgment, and that the matter must proceed to a jury.

Continue reading for the entire text of the COA decision.

COA: Jan. 23, 2015 Court of Appeals Decisions (Minutes) (51-74 with 4 published) PUBLISHED (immunity; slip and fall; government retirement benefits; prenup). TORTS (slip & fall & Shelton; another fen phen appeal)

 

Not an actual depiction of the steps involved in the decision below.  Used for blogging illustration.

Not an actual depiction of the steps involved in the decision below. Used for blogging illustration.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals announced 24 decisions  on January 23, 2015, with 4 opinions designated to be published.

The issues addressed in the published decisions centered on agency’s failure to consider medical evidence when applying for retirement benefits; affirming denial of official qualified immunity to principals engaging in ministerial duties; affirmed trial courts decision not to enforce terms of antenuptial agreement against spouse who had declined to enforce it in the ten years before his death; and last but not least another Court of Appeals decision affirming another trial judge’s dismissal of a premises liability/slip and fall claim by finding a work around of the Shelton/McIntosh decisions and the now discredited defense of open and obvious conditions.

The published decisions are briefly digested below, with the tort, insurance and civil procedure decisions digested below the line with a complete copy of this week’s COA minutes.

Click here for links to all the archived AOC Court of Appeals minutes

Click here for all of a listing of our posts of the weekly COA minutes (or you can always access these within the KCR web site at the uppermost dropdown menu option for the Court of Appeals).

The 4 published cases are:

56.  GOVERNMENT RETIREMENT
Kentucky Retirement Systems vs. Dianne Carson
COA, Published 1/23/2015
Opinion Affirming;  Franklin Cir. Ct.
VANMETER, JUDGE: Under KRS1 61.600, a Kentucky Employees Retirement Systems member may file a second application for benefits, following an initial denial, if accompanied by new medical evidence. The issue we must resolve in this case is whether the Franklin Circuit Court erred in its decision to remand this case to the agency based on the court’s determination that the agency failed to reconsider all the medical evidence, including that presented with the first application. We hold that the court did nor err, and therefore affirm its Opinion and Order.

58.  Defenses.  Qualified Official Immunity No Given to High School Principals Performing Ministerial Duties
James Beward  and Gary Emberton vs. Cody Whitaker
COA Published 1/23/2015
Opinion affirming; Bullitt Cir. Ct.
J. LAMBERT, JUDGE: James W. Beward and Gary Emberton, former Bullitt Central High School principals, have appealed from the April 4, 2013, summary judgment of the Bullitt Circuit Court ruling that they were not entitled to qualified official immunity for injuries student Cody Whitaker sustained in an unsupervised hallway prior to the start of the school day. The circuit court held that the school’s 2008 Spring Supervision Schedule gave Beward and Emberton ministerial duties to supervise the Freshman Hall End station in the absence of the person assigned to supervise that station. We affirm.

64.  Divorce. Estoppel/waiver applied for one spouse’s failure to enforce provisions of antenuptial agreement for the ten years prior to his death
Michael Bickel, Adm’r Est. of Kenneth Bickell vs. Sandra Rae Haley
COA Published 1/23/2015
Opinion Affirming; Jefferson Cir. Ct. (Judge C. McCay Chauvin)
VANMETER, JUDGE: Antenuptial agreements, like other contracts, are subject to rules of construction and enforcement, and parties may waive, or be estopped from, enforcement of terms or conditions. The issue we must resolve in this case is whether the Jefferson Circuit Court erred in declining to enforce certain provisions in an agreement when one spouse, prior to his death, failed or declined to enforce those provisions for over ten years. We hold that the trial court did not err and therefore affirm.

68.  Premises Liability. Another COA decision working around the Shelton “open and obvious” distinction
Janice Ward vs. JKP Investments, LLC
COA Published 1/23/2015
Opinion affirming; Jefferson Cir. Ct. (Judge James M. Shake)VANMETER, JUDGE: Janice Ward appeals from the Jefferson Circuit Court’s order dismissing via summary judgment her personal injury action against JKP Investments, LLC. Upon review of the record and applicable law, we affirm.

In this case, the deteriorating condition of the step was objectively obvious, but the obviousness of the condition is only one factor to consider under the Shelton analysis. To survive summary judgment, Janice needed to come forward with affirmative evidence, viewed in a light favorable to her, showing that JKP should have reasonably foreseen that visitors would be distracted, would be engaging in some activity while traveling on the deteriorating step, or would otherwise not proceed with caution given the surrounding area. Janice failed to make this showing. While the record shows the Derby party was a lawn party and party-goers walked throughout the yard that day, Janice’s deposition testimony is devoid of any allegations of circumstances which would have reasonably distracted her while traversing the deteriorating step, or which would have made the condition of the step an unreasonable risk.

Rather, Janice’s deposition reveals that she was at the Derby party for approximately six hours; she had traversed the staircase in question three times that day without difficulty before falling; it was daylight when she fell; she was not looking or paying attention to where she was stepping; she placed her foot in the far corner of the step where cement was crumbling rather than walking up the middle of the relatively wide step; and she was not sharing the step with anyone.

Nothing in the record indicates that under the circumstances, JKP had reason to expect visitors’ attention might be distracted or that visitors would proceed to encounter an obvious danger. JKP’s duty of care is limited to foreseeable harm. Cf. Kentucky Med. Ctr. v. McIntosh, 319 S.W.3d 385, 393-94 (Ky. 2010) (hospital owed duty to paramedic who tripped and fell over curb located between ambulance dock and emergency room doors as she was helping transport a critically ill patient, despite open and obvious nature of the curb, as it was foreseeable that paramedic would be tending to the patient, not to each step she was taking, and also that paramedic might forget that the particular hospital in question had a unique danger that she needed to avoid.).

We believe this case presents the scenario contemplated in Shelton in which summary judgment is viable and appropriate and therefore uphold the decision of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of JKP.

The Jefferson Circuit Court’s order is affirmed.
KRAMER, JUDGE, CONCURS.
MAZE, JUDGE, DISSENTS AND FILES SEPARATE OPINION.

“Continue reading” for the Tort Report and a complete copy of this week’s minutes of ALL decisions with links to their full text.

Case Notes: A River Runs Through It in Jurisdiction issues in case involving medical treatment in Louisville but followup surgery across the Ohio River (Cooper vs. Dr. Ajith Nair, Kentuckiana Pain Specialists and Metro Specialty Surgery Center, COA NPO 1/9/2015)

 

Screenshot capture from Google Maps.

Screenshot capture from Google Maps.

This decision highlights what the risks are when you select a Louisville physician who then ships you across the river to Indiana for surgery (where there is more favorable medical malpractice protection for the doctor but a most tortuous path for those who have been injured when trying to get their lives back from a doctor’s mistakes).  The doctors say it keeps their costs down by operating in Indiana, but another way to look at it is that it frustrates the patient’s care and needs, especially when the procedure is believed to have been botched.

Here’s the case and a recommended read for the limits of prosecuting medical negligence claims when a river runs through it.  Note, the decision indicates the actual act of negligence arose from the surgery in Indiana which has a two year statute of limitation with Kentucky having a one-year statute.  The lawsuit was filed in Kentucky on the eve of the one year Kentucky SOL (statute of limitation), and the trial court ruled nearly a half-year prior to the two-year SOL for Indiana.  Nothing was said in this opinion whether they was concurrent or subsequent filing in Indiana, and one can clearly understand the fight to stay in the Commonwealth to avoid the harsh and nearly insurmountable obstacles to recovery through the Indiana medical malpractice system.  Thus, the results might not be so harsh as originally suspected if there was concurrent filing in Kentucky and Indiana.  And, this my friends is why medical malpractice prosecution and defense is not for the faint hearted, and why the traffic snarls are not the only reason to stay on this side of the river when it comes to medical treatment.

And, of course, these litigants have yet to address the choice of law issues in this one, and will still have to navigate how the office visits and treatment might allow personal jurisdiction over Dr. Nair and Kentuckiana Pain Specialists.

Medical Negligence.  Venue and in personal jurisdiction re Indiana surgery center; Long Arm Statute (interesting read since physicians treated plaintiff in Louisville, but physician performed surgery in Indiana at the Metro Specialty Surgical Center)

Teddy Cooper vs.  Dr. Ajith Nair, M.D.
COA NPO 1/9/2015
Affirming in part, vacating in part and remanding;  Jefferson County

Teddy Cooper and Lori Cooper, his wife, appeal from the order of the Jefferson Circuit Court dismissing their negligence action against Dr. Ajith Nair; Kentuckiana Pain Specialists, P.S.C.; and Metro Specialty Surgery Center, L.L.C. On appeal, the Coopers argue that the trial court erred in determining that Jefferson County was not the proper venue for their claims and that the court lacked in personam jurisdiction over Metro Specialty Surgery Center, a business entity organized under the laws of Indiana and domiciled there. Having reviewed the record and the arguments of counsel, we affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand.

In this case, a Hardin County resident was treated by Dr. Nair at Kentuckiana Pain Specialists for 22 separate visits for low back complaints, but has back surgery in Indiana at the Metro Specialty Surgery Center.  One day before the one-year anniversary of the surgery, Cooper filed suit in Jefferson County against Dr. Nair, Kentuckiana Pain, and Metro Specialty Surgery Center claiming they deviated from the standard of care.  What was not included in the complaint was the basis for jurisdiction over Metro Surgery who raised personal jurisdiction and venue in defense.  It was not disputed that the med-mal claim was based upon the Indiana surgery.

Judge Bisig, Jefferson Circuit Court, dismissed the claims against Metro Surgery for lack of jurisdiction and dismissed the claims against Dr. Nair and Kentuckiana Pain for lack of venue.

Jurisdiction was noted to be a two-step process.   First was jurisdiction authorized under the long arm statute?  Second, does jurisdiction comport with federal due process.

While the Coopers are required to set forth the necessary facts supporting a finding of jurisdiction, they failed to identify to the trial court which of these circumstances was relevant to its  determination. Nor have they offered any basis for the exercise of  personal jurisdiction in their brief on appeal. Instead, the Coopers argue that they are entitled to an opportunity to conduct further discovery since they adduced evidence sufficient to show: that Dr. Nair is an agent of Metro Specialty Surgery Center; that other Kentucky doctors have a relationship with the surgery center; and that the surgery center maintains contact and does business with Kentucky patients. The Coopers contend that the trial court erred by denying them the opportunity to conduct further discovery with respect to these issues.

The Court of Appeals in an opinion written by Judge Combs concluded there was no personal jurisdiction over Metro Specialty Surgery Center.

It is undisputed that Metro Specialty Surgery Center is an Indiana business entity with its principal place of business in Jeffersonville, Indiana. It is not registered with the Kentucky Secretary of State, and it is not authorized to conduct business in the Commonwealth. In fact, given the breadth of services that it offers on an outpatient basis, it is specifically prohibited from conducting business here. It is undisputed that the surgery center  as not involved with the care and treatment that Teddy Cooper was offered or  provided in the Commonwealth. The surgery center provided care to him only  in Indiana. The surgery center does not supply goods nor does it contract to supply goods in the Commonwealth. It has no agents or employees working on its behalf in Kentucky. It maintains no office in Kentucky; it does not insure any party in the Commonwealth; it does not own property here; and the Coopers have never alleged that it caused tortious injury here. Under these circumstances, we  conclude that the requirements of our long-arm statute have not been satisfied.

However, with regard to personal jurisdiction over Dr.  Nair and Kentuckiana Pain Specialists, the COA vacated the order of the Jefferson Circuit Court “dismissing the claims asserted by the Coopers against Dr. Nair and Kentuckiana Pain Specialists and remand for further proceedings. However, based upon the foregoing analysis, we affirm the order of the court dismissing the claims asserted by the Coopers against Metro Specialty Surgery Center. ”

[continue reading below for the entirety of the appellate opinion]

SC: No Monthly Supreme Court Summaries of Published Decisions Since September 2014

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 2.50.14 PM

Screen Shot Showing Drop Down Menu

For those who have wondered where have all the monthly summaries gone for published decisions for the Supreme Court of Kentucky (aka SCOKY), I can only say there have been NO Supreme Court monthly summaries since the last one was posted by the Kentucky Court Report for the month of September 2014.  As soon as they resume, I will post.

Here is a link to all of the archived SCOKY’s monthly summaries at the AOC.

Here is link to all of OUR posts to SCOKY’s monthly summaries.

BTW.  at the top of the KCR’s Blog Page is a menu bar with a drop down menu for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals with options for showing blog posts by category, eg., Minutes, Argument Calendars, and the Monthly summaries.

COA: Monthly Summaries of Published Decisions for Court of Appeals – None since June 2014

Blank.page

Zero, zip, nada, nothing since June 2014.

For those who have wondered where have all the monthly summaries gone for published decisions for Court of Appeals of Kentucky, I can only say there have been NO COURT OF APPEALS monthly summaries since the last one was posted by the Kentucky Court Report for the month of June 2014.  As soon as they resume, I will post.

Here is a link to all of the archived COAKY’s monthly summaries that have been posted.

 

Case Notes: Watch out for the 1 year Statute of Limitations and Premises Liability – Landel vs. The Kroger Company (COA NPO 1/16/2015)

Not actual parking lot in this case.  Used solely for illustrative purposes.

Not actual parking lot in this case. Used solely for illustrative purposes.

The one-year state of limitations for most torts may be the law, and may work in many cases, but it can be way too short in this era of trying to figure out who the proper party is in this complex world of hide the ball from the Plaintiff.  The recent Court of Appeals’ decision in Landel vs. Krogers out of Russell County demonstrates this in relationship to whose parking lot is it anyway.

In this case, Vickie Landel was a Kroger customer who fell and injured herself in the parking lot.  She filed suit against Krogers since it was the parking lot outside of the Krogers’ store.  She fell on March 10, 2011, and filed her original complaint on November 2, 2011, but sought to amend the complaint to add the shopping center on March 21, 2012 – just eleven days after the one year anniversary and the expiration of the statute of limitation.  The shopping center obtained summary judgment dismissing the complaint against it for untimely filing (SOL), and Krogers obtained a dismissal of the complaint since it had no duty over the parking lot.

The plaintiff Landel claimed she did not know the identity of the shopping center, but Krogers had notified her by letter that the shopping center was responsible and provided her a copy of the lease.

Before discussing the issue of tolling as raised by the plaintiff in this case, let us take a look at some lessons to be learned in this case and those of a similar nature.

The identity of the “real” plaintiff can be difficult in the commercial context, and the identification of the real party can be fatal.  Most Krogers’ stores, however, have the actual name of the owner of the store location in black letters on the window near the door.  The name of the entity can be confirmed at the Secretary of State for the proper name for the style and the proper person for service.  However, this does not get you past possible problems, such as a the dangerous condition of the floor was the work of a vendor (eg., the Brown Hotel case and indemnity), or the mats were placed and cleaned by a contractor, or as in this case the parking lot is not the store’s responsibiilty.    The solution, unfortunately, is “fast filing with fast followup” since delay and deny and do nothing by the defendant does not inure a benefit to the plaintiff.

Some useful techniques for getting around this improperly denominated party defendant are:  correcting a misnomer “, and CR 15.03 involving relation back of amendments (eg., nexus between corporations and/or subsidiaries and the relating back (An amended pleading that changes or adds defendants only relates back to the filing of the original pleading when (1) the claim in the amended complaint arose out of the same conduct, transaction, or occurrence set forth in the original pleading; (2) the new party received notice of the institution of the action so that he will not be prejudiced in asserting his defense; and (3) the new party knows or should have known that without the mistake concerning identity, the action would have been brought against him. CR 15.03. party relates back.”  Within this context, I would have suspected that Krogers would have notified it lessor of the lawsuit (and thus notice under 15.03(2)(a) who would have know from the filing of the original complaint that they/shopping center would have been the proper party.

However, these outs are not an adequate solution to what I believe are the real problems: a. who they are may not be who you think they are with a name hidden in corporate names, agreements; and b. the insurer/insured may not be forthright about the correct identity of the responsible party (delay has its benefits, especially as the statute’s expiration approaches; and c. the  one-year is just too darn short when you have ten years for written contracts with the defendant usually self-evident, but with defective products made in China and distributed under other’s names).

The solution? Some are file soon, notice the corporate-representative for his/her deposition per CR 30.02(6).  The better solution is a longer statute of limitations with an easier tolling/relation back doctrine to avoid hide the ball and to allow the potential of resolving these cases short of suit.  One year.  Seriously!

For other posts on this blog about the statute of limitations, click here.

Case Notes: Looking at Res Ipsa Loquitur and Breach of Duty in the context of a one-car collision – Gilbert v. U-Haul (COA NPO 1/9/2015)

Photo is for blogging purposes and is NOT a photo involving this collision.  Photo from Depositphotos.com.

Photo is for blogging purposes and is NOT a photo involving this collision. Photo from Depositphotos.com.

It would be so much easier to prevail in personal injury cases if we did not have to worry about evidence to show duty and breach.  Negligence is usually not that difficult.  Oftentimes, we think that res ipsa loquitur may prove to be our salvation.  Bleachers just don’t fall unless someone did something wrong,  or a scalpel is left in following surgery.

Res ipsa Loquitur and breach of duty take center stage in this nonpublished decision from the Scott Circuit Court – Peggy Gilbert vs. U-Haul International Inc., Judd Road Storage and U-Haul and Thomas Gilbert, COA, NPO, 1/9/2015 which affirmed the trial court Judge Robert Johnson’s granting of summary judgment dismissing her claims against her husband.

This case will show that res ipsa loquitur (aka res ipsa) is not an easy solution for problems of proof of negligence (duty and breach).

A little background on how this case ended up with a dismissal of the wife’s claims against her husband.  Well, it was a single vehicle collision, with husband driving a truck with a U-Haul attached.  After filing suit, Peggy’s claims against the two U-Haul defendants settled, leaving the claim against Tom Gilbert, Peggy’s husband.

The hurdle was that Peggy had previously testified  in her deposition that she did not observe Tom driving incorrectly or inappropriately.  Now, she is trying to collect some money from her husband, or should I say, her husband’s liability insurance policy, but unable to offer her own evidence or observations on negligence what is she going to do?

The trial court gave her four months to obtain additional evidence, and the only thing she had was an affidavit from an accident reconstructionist that after reviewing the records who opined that the only way this accident could have been caused by was by error on the part of Tom, U-Haul, or both.

I present this case as a case note to demonstrate the issues that develop when you have a claim against your spouse and can’t give any evidence that your spouse was negligent other than res ipsa loquitur, aka “the think speaks for itself”.  We often bandy about the doctrine in a short-hand manner thinking its common sense approach will fill in the blanks.  However, it’s not that easy as this case details.  Briefly, it is a doctrine that states that the elements of duty of care and breach can sometimes be inferred from the very nature of an accident or other outcome, even without direct evidence of how any defendant behaved.

For more detailed analysis, then “continue reading” below.

COA: Jan. 16, 2014 Court of Appeals Decisions (Minutes) (33-50 with 2 published)(civil service retirement at divorce; modification of timesharing of child): TORTS: (class action attorney fees and common fund; failure to timely add parties and SOL)

Selfie of Michael Stevens using iPhone.   ;-)

Selfie of Michael Stevens using iPhone. ;-)

I would like to take this time to thank each of you for your support and encouragement these past years.  We are going to have a great 2015.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals announced 18 decisions  on January 16, 2015, with 2 opinions designated to be published.

The two published cases are:

40.  Divorce. Division of state civil service retirement
Richard F. Brown vs. Lisa G. Brown
COA Published 1/16/2015
Affirming (Franklin County)

JONES, JUDGE: This matter is on appeal from an order of the Franklin Circuit Court awarding Appellee Lisa G. Brown (now Robinson), a pro-rata share of Appellant Richard F. Brown’s gross monthly annuity under the Civil Service Retirement System. On appeal, Richard argues that the circuit court erred as a matter of law because its award to Lisa included cost-of-living adjustments (“COLAs”) that Richard’s civil retirement account received after the parties divorced. For the reasons more fully explained below, we AFFIRM.

42.  Family Law.  Modification of timesharing with son
Cory Hoskins vs. Melissa Hoskins (now Brown)
COA Published 1/16/2015
Opinion Reversing and Remanding (Morgan County)

THOMPSON, JUDGE: Cory David Hoskins appeals from an order of the Morgan Circuit Court modifying timesharing with his son. He contends the trial court erroneously considered the report of a guardian ad litem (GAL) appointed by the court when modifying the parties’ timesharing arrangement. Based on our Supreme Court’s recent clarification of the role of GAL’s in domestic child custody and visitation matters, we reverse and remand.

 Click here for links to all the archived Court of Appeals minutes.

“Continue reading” for the Tort Report and a complete copy of this week’s minutes of ALL decisions with links to their full text.

COA: January 2015 Oral Argument Calendar for Court of Appeals

Photos outside of 2nd floor circuit court room in Hardin County Judicial Center. Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Photo using an iPad 2.

Photos outside of 2nd floor circuit court room in Hardin County Judicial Center. Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Photo using an iPad 2.

The Court of Appeals of Kentucky will hear oral arguments for the month of January 2015 – Jan. 22 in Frankfort and Jan. 27 in Louisville.

Download (January2015.pdf, PDF, 117KB)