J. David JOHN, Appellant
Martin T. FAITAK, Ph.D., Appellee
FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 72CV-16-106],
HONORABLE JOHN C. THREET, JUDGE
& Co., PLLC, Little Rock, by: Tim Cullen, for appellant.
Dixon Horne PLLC, by: Todd Wooten, Trey Cooper, and Monte D.
Estes, Little Rock, for appellee.
M. BROWN, Judge.
Appellant appeals from the circuit courts order granting
summary judgment in favor of appellee. On appeal, appellants
sole argument is that appellee is not entitled to immunity
for acts that exceed the scope of his appointment. We affirm.
Appellant and Megan Bolinder conceived I.J. out of wedlock
and he was born on March 12, 2010. The parties ended their
relationship a couple of months later in May 2010.
Thereafter, their less-than-stellar co-parenting relationship
led them to litigation over custody of I.J. Bolinder was
awarded custody of I.J., subject to appellants visitation,
in the circuit courts February 9, 2012 order. In its October
9, 2013 temporary order, the circuit court ordered both
appellant and Bolinder to undergo a psychological examination
by appellee at their own expense. In its February 27, 2014
order, the circuit court ordered appellant and Bolinder to
submit themselves to monthly mediation sessions with appellee
"to work toward the goal of learning how to have
reasonable and respectful communications and the
establishment of trust between the parties." Appellee
was also referred to as a "counselor" in the order
and the sessions were referred to as "counseling."
a session on May 29, 2014, in response to appellants
question of why
Bolinder is the better custodial parent, appellee answered
"[b]ecause you have a narcissistic personality disorder.
Im withdrawing the schizoid and going with
narcissistic." This statement was made in Bolinders
presence. Appellant notified appellee by email that appellant
had filed a complaint against appellee with the Arkansas
Psychology Board (APB) on June 27, 2014. Though there had
been email correspondence between Bolinder and appellee
regarding appellants interactions with I.J. prior to June
27, 2014, there began to be email correspondence between
Bolinders attorney, Kristin Pawlik, and appellee thereafter.
Pawlik and appellees email correspondence dealt with the
effect of appellants complaint on the sessions and whether
the sessions "[had] accomplished anything."
According to one October 16, 2015 email from appellee to
Pawlik, the APB "[had] warned [him] to have no further
involvement" with the case, appellant, or Bolinder.
Appellee further informed Pawlik that "[w]hile [the APB
had] not substantiated any of [appellants] accusations
against [appellee], they have determined that [appellee] was
engaged in a multiple relationship by acting as an
evaluator and then a therapist. [He was] supposed to be one
or another, not both." Appellee advised that further
contact could result in suspension of his license, which he
could not afford, so he would not be able to testify at the
January 6, 2016, a consent agreement with letters of
reprimand from the APB was filed against appellee. It found
[Appellee] did admittedly engage in violations of [American
Psychological Association (APA) ] Ethical Standard 3.10(d) [
(Informed Consent) ] and 10.01(a)[ (Informed Consent to
Therapy) ]. [Appellee] has not admitted violating APA Ethical
standard 3.05(a) [ (Multiple Relationships) ]. The admitted
actions constituted violations of the forgoing enumerated
Statutory, Regulatory, and APA Ethical Standards. The Board
agrees to treatment of the allegation of an APA Ethical
Standard 3.05(a) as a non-admission by the [appellee] even
though it believed there was also probable cause for a
finding of a violation of that 3.05(a) Standard.
Appellee was then sanctioned with a letter of reprimand for
the admitted violations; a fine of $ 2,000.00; and six hours
of face-to-face continuing education "pertaining to
psychological ethics with particular incorporation of ...