Manifest injustice standard for deficient brief and timesharing – published opinion from Ky Court of Appeals

Blank Papers

French v. French 

Trial court modified a timesharing agreement to allow Mother more time with the parties’ minor child. Under the Trial Court’s Order, Father had visitation with the minor child from Monday at 6:00 p.m. until Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. and every other weekend from Friday at 6:00 p.m. until Monday at 6:00 p.m. Summer timesharing and holidays were also equally divided between the parties. Father appealed.

In filing Father’s appeal, Father’s counsel failed to comply with several of the basic requirements of CR 76.12. Although the Court of Appeals expressed a deep dissatisfaction that Father’s counsel failed to follow the requirements of CR 76.12, the Court found that Counsel’s misstep justified an appropriate sanction less than dismissal, namely, to “review the issues raised in the brief for manifest injustice only.”

In reviewing the issues raised on appeal for “manifest injustice,” the Court of Appeals affirmed the Trial Court’s decision to increase timesharing in favor of Mother stating that “just because Father spends less time with T.F. than he did under the decree, the timesharing he now has is not ‘less than reasonable visitation.'”

Digested by: Emily T. Cecconi