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

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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  

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