Putative Father Entitled to Evidentiary Hearing Before Paternity Adjudication, JDC v. CHFS, Digest, Ky Court of Appeals

J.D.C v. CHFS, 2012-CA-000670-ME

Published:   Reversing and Remanding   

County:  Barren

Putative Father appealed FC’s judgment
of paternity, claiming he should have been granted evidentiary hearing.    

FACTS:

Mother of Child filed paternity
complaint against Putative Father. 
Genetic testing confirmed that Putative Father was the biological father
of Child, and Putative Father did not contest the validity of this
testing.  He continued to contest the
finding of paternity and requested an evidentiary hearing, contending that he
did not have consensual sexual relations with Child’s Mother but that, while a
guest in his and his wife’s home, she had unlawfully obtained his sperm from a
used condom after he had sexual relations with his wife and inseminated herself
with it.  FC denied Putative Father’s
request for evidentiary hearing and entered a judgment of paternity.

ANALYSIS:

Putative Father contended to CA that
FC’s refusal to grant him an evidentiary hearing was contrary to KRS Chapter
406.  CA agreed, holding that genetic
testing alone is insufficient to establish paternity if the father were to
raise a legally sufficient reason as to why paternity should not be entered
against him.  Per KRS 406.111, genetic
testing of 99% probability of paternity is only a “rebuttable presumption”
which may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.  Thus, putative fathers are entitled to an
evidentiary hearing to attempt to rebut the presumption. 

CA also held that Putative Father’s
argument that he did not engage in consensual sexual relations with Child’s
Mother and did not consent to the use of his sperm would trump any public
policy arguments requiring fathers to support their out-of-wedlock children or
holding a man strictly liable for his sperm if he engages in consensual sexual
conduct. 

Reversed and Remanded for an
evidentiary hearing.

Digested by Michelle Eisenmenger
Mapes
, Diana L. Skaggs + Associates