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John v. Bolinder

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

February 13, 2019

J. David JOHN, Appellant
v.
Megan Marie BOLINDER, Appellee

          Rehearing Denied March 27, 2019

Page 419

          APPEAL FROM THE BENTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 04DR-10-1327], HONORABLE DOUG SCHRANTZ, JUDGE

         Cullen & Co., PLLC, by: Tim Cullen, for appellant.

         Keith, Miller, Butler, Schneider & Pawlik, PLLC, Rogers, by: Mason L. Boling, for appellee.

         OPINION

         KENNETH S. HIXSON, Judge

          This domestic-relations appeal arises from long-running and contentious litigation between appellant J. David John (David) and appellee Megan Marie Bolinder (Megan). The only issue in this appeal involves attorney’s fees. In an order entered on December 14, 2017, the trial court ordered David to pay Megan $ 29,140 in attorney’s fees. David argues that the attorney’s-fee award should be reversed in its entirety because the trial court lacked the authority to award them, and also because Megan’s motion for attorney’s fees was untimely. We affirm as modified.

         David and Megan were never married but they share a son, Isaiah, who was born on March 12, 2010. On February 9, 2012, the trial court entered an order awarding primary custody of the child to Megan, while awarding David visitation and ordering him to pay child support.[1] David appealed this initial award of custody, visitation, and child support, raising several issues on appeal. Megan cross-appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in its calculation of David’s child support. In John v. Bolinder, 2013 Ark.App. 224, 2013 WL 1456713, we affirmed the direct appeal but reversed and remanded the cross-appeal with instructions for the trial court to use a different method to calculate David’s child-support obligation.

          On remand, the trial court entered an order that substantially increased David’s child-support obligation. Additional litigation ensued, and more orders were entered. On December 9, 2013, the trial court entered an order of dismissal without prejudice, on David’s motion, dismissing David’s claims for change of custody and child support, or alternatively to modify visitation. On February 27, 2014, the trial court entered an order granting Megan’s petition to modify David’s visitation.

         On November 26, 2014, David filed a motion for the release of Megan’s medical records. On April 28, 2015, David filed a motion to modify child support and to modify visitation. Meanwhile, Megan had filed a motion for contempt against David. After a hearing on the motions, the trial court entered an order on June 30, 2015, denying David’s request for the release of Megan’s medical records and denying David’s motion to modify visitation. David appealed from that order, but we dismissed the appeal for lack of a final order because David’s motion to modify child support and Megan’s contempt motion remained unresolved. See John v. Bolinder, 2016 Ark.App. 357, 498 S.W.3d 307.

          After our dismissal, Megan’s motion for contempt was denied. Megan was also awarded $ 2080 in attorney’s fees, apparently in relation to her defense of David’s motions for the release of her medical records and to modify child support and visitation. On September 29, 2016, David

Page 420

filed a motion to change custody, or alternatively expand visitation, and reduce child support.

          Additional motions were filed, and more orders were entered. Relevant to this appeal, the trial court entered an order on February 2, 2017, denying David’s motion for the trial court to recuse, and entered an order on ...


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