J. DAVID JOHN APPELLANT
MEGAN MARIE BOLINDER APPELLEE
FROM THE BENTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 04DR-10-1327]
HONORABLE DOUG SCHRANTZ, JUDGE.
& Co., PLLC, by: Tim Cullen, for appellant.
Miller, Butler, Schneider & Pawlik, PLLC, by: Mason L.
Boling, for appellee.
KENNETH S. HIXSON, JUDGE.
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.
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. 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, 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
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.
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.
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 filed a
motion to change custody, or alternatively expand visitation,
and reduce child support.
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 June 23, 2017, denying
David's petition to hold Megan in contempt.
September 12, 2017, Megan filed a petition for attorney's
fees, which is the motion precipitating the trial court's
most recent attorney's-fee award and giving rise to this
appeal. In that petition, Megan requested a total of $29, 140
in attorney's fees, with the following specifics:
5. That the total amount of attorneys' fees billed to
[Megan] by my firm on the matter of Motion for Change of
Custody, Child Support, or Alternatively Modify Visitation
filed August 12, 2013, is $10, 680.00. That this sum includes
53.4 billable hours.
6. That the total amount of attorneys' fees billed to
[Megan] by firm for responding to motions filed by [David]
which were ultimately denied by the Court less a previous
award of attorney's fees in the amount of $2, 080.00 is
$8, 720.00. That this sum includes 54 billable hours.
6.[sic] That the total amount of attorneys' fees billed
to [Megan] by my firm on the matter of Motion for Change of
Custody and, Alternatively to Expand Visitation and Reduce
Child support filed September 29, 2016, is $9, ...