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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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