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Judges affirm man must pay $5,000 in attorney fees to ex-wife

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An Allen County man was unsuccessful in his attempts to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse the order he pay $5,000 in attorney fees to his ex-wife in litigation over their child’s contact with the ex-wife’s new husband.

When Kelley Kelly and Tiffany Kravec divorced, they shared legal custody of T.K. with Kelly having primary physical custody. After a petition to modify custody was filed, Kelly, Kravec and their spouses underwent psychological evaluations. T.K.’s stepfather was required to have an independent evaluation based on his answers and was not to be alone with T.K. There was an allegation that he had used an abusive punishment with his own child. The stepfather immediately completed the evaluation, which found the claim unsubstantiated. But Kelly for two years continued to resist removing the provision that T.K. only be allowed supervised contact with her stepfather.

The issue eventually went to mediation, where the parties agreed T.K. could be left alone with her stepfather. Over the course of the two years, Kravec sought attorney fees from Kelly, but that was not mentioned in the stipulation.

The trial court awarded Kravec $5,000 for attorney fees.

In Kelley L. Kelly v. Tiffany L. Kravec, 02A05-1304-DR-158, Kelly argued that the trial court’s award of attorney fees was erroneous because Kravec’s conduct was the cause of her attorney fees; her attorney fee request was barred by res judicata; and the trial court did not hold a separate hearing on the reasonableness of Kravec’s attorney fees.

“Father’s argument that the trial court’s award of attorney fees was improper because Mother’s misconduct was responsible for the delay in resolving the supervised contact issue is nothing more than a request that we reweigh the evidence and witness credibility, which we will not do,” Judge Rudolph Pyle III wrote.

“The 2012 Agreed Stipulation did not contain any provision regarding attorney fees but noted that all pending matters were scheduled for a future hearing. The trial court entered an order approving the parties’ 2012 Agreed Stipulation, but that order was not a final judgment because there were still matters pending before the trial court and because it did not dispose of all issues. Accordingly, claim preclusion does not apply because the 2012 Stipulated Agreement was not a final judgment,” he continued.

Lastly, the COA held because Kelly did not object to the admission of the fee affidavit, the reasonableness of the fees, or the lack of a separate evidentiary hearing, he waived appellate review of any argument challenging the lack of separate hearing or reasonableness of the fees.
 

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  1. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

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  3. This is happening so much. Even in 2016.2017. I hope the father sue for civil rights violation. I hope he sue as more are doing and even without a lawyer as pro-se, he got a good one here. God bless him.

  4. JLAP and other courtiers ... Those running court systems, have most substance abuse issues. Probably self medicating to cover conscience issues arising out of acts furthering govt corruption

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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