May 19, 2021

Family Law Appellate Case Victory

On May 13, 2021, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed a father’s request for award of sanctions against the Mother. Kelley Kronenberg Partner Natalie S. Kay and the Family Law Attorneys represented the Father for several years in this post final judgment paternity action.

Ms. Kay successfully obtained the dismissal of an ex parte domestic violence injunction sought by the Mother on behalf of the minor child, against the Father.   Despite the judge’s clear oral ruling dismissing the ex parte injunction, the Mother summoned law enforcement to her residence when the Father arrived to pick up his daughter as approved by the Court. Sadly, the Father was arrested for violation of a temporary injunction because the Judge’s oral ruling had not yet been entered in writing or placed on the Clerk’s docket. On a day when the Father should have enjoyed reuniting with his child, he instead spent the night in a jail cell.  Thereafter, the Court ordered that the Mother’s time-sharing be temporarily suspended to allow for the Father to undo some of the damage the Mother had caused to the father-daughter relationship.

Given the frivolous and unsubstantiated claims made by the Mother that ultimately cost the Father approximately $80,000.00 in Attorney’s Fees to defend, Ms. Kay and the Family Law Attorneys filed a motion for Attorney’s Fees and Sanctions against the Mother for her bad faith actions. According to the court documents “The Respondent/Mother took some actions that she had no right and no authority to do and these actions created not only a palpable degree of underserved mental anguish upon the Petitioner/Father, but also significant financial costs to unwind the consequences of those actions and to preserve the Petitioner/Father’s legal rights in this case.”

On April 9, 2020, Judge Davis ordered the mother to pay $58,653.00 toward the reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees incurred by the Father in the proceedings, as well as $3,705.10 for reimbursement of costs related to payment of the child’s reunification therapist.  The mother appealed this sanctions order, but the Order entered by Judge Davis was Affirmed on May 13, 2021. Ms. Kay also represented the father in the appellate case.