FAMILY LAW (Jurisdiction): Cabinet for Health and Family Services v. J.T.G. (COA 12/4/2009)

Cabinet for Health and Family Services v. J.T.G.
2009-CA-000211 12/04/2009 2009 WL 4406123

Opinion by Judge Lambert; Judge Harris concurred by separate opinion; Judge VanMeter dissented by separate opinion. The Court vacated and remanded an order of the circuit court finding the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in contempt for failing to pay child care assistance costs to the uncle of a child who was given permanent custody of the child. The Court held that the trial court abused its discretion in enforcing an order entered by the family court that previously transferred the case. The transferring court lost jurisdiction once the matter was transferred and therefore, the order requiring the Cabinet to pay child care assistance costs was void ab initio. The Court also held that the application of the law of the case doctrine was a abuse of discretion, as the doctrine did not extend to trial court rulings. The Court remanded with instructions for the court to reconsider the Cabinet’s CR 59.05 motion in light of the opinion, including but not limited to a consideration of KRS 610.010(12) and its applicability to the facts.

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