Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Reidy v. Reidy

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

December 20, 2017

DAVID STEPHEN REIDY, Appellant,
v.
LIUDMYLA Y. REIDY, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Alfred J. Horowitz, Judge; L.T. Case No. FMCE 14-006256 (38).

          Carla Lowry of Lowry at Law, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, for appellant.

          Daniel A. Bushell of Bushell Law, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, for appellee.

          Gross, J.

         After trial, the circuit court rejected the Former Wife's claim for alimony. The original judge granted a motion for disqualification. A successor judge ordered the payment of temporary alimony in a lump sum and monthly payments pending appeal. We reverse these awards because the successor judge did not apply the correct standard for an award of post-judgment temporary alimony when alimony has been rejected in the final judgment.

         In August, 2016, Judge Timothy Bailey entered a Final Order of Dissolution of Marriage. The Final Judgment denied the Former Wife's requests for both alimony and attorney's fees.

         As to alimony, the trial court noted that this was a short-term marriage and that the parties had been in divorce litigation for much of the marriage. The court also observed that Former Wife was going to receive a six-figure equitable distribution.

         As to attorney's fees, the court acknowledged that over $200, 000 had been spent on lawyers, accountants, mediators, and court reporters. The court referenced the conduct of the Former Wife that unnecessarily prolonged the litigation.[1]

         After entering the final judgment, Judge Bailey granted the Former Wife's motion for disqualification and the case was reassigned to Judge Horowitz.

         In October, 2016, the Former Wife moved for temporary alimony pending appeal. She also moved for appellate attorney's fees. At the hearing on the motion, the trial judge framed the issue as "need and ability" to pay. The Former Wife put on evidence of her limited financial situation and the Former Husband's ability to pay support. The court refused to hear the Former Husband's evidence of the "frivolous litigation" that had "pervaded [the] entire divorce proceeding." No evidence was presented regarding the necessity of temporary support to protect the Former Wife's interests on appeal. There was no mention of the Former Wife's ability to access the funds she was awarded as equitable distribution.

         In February, 2017, the circuit judge ordered the Former Husband to pay $5, 150 as a lump sum, $2, 200 per month as temporary alimony, $20, 000 in appellate attorney's fees, and $3, 008.85 as costs on appeal. The Former Husband appealed this order. This court granted a stay as to the $2, 200 monthly payments.

         Where the trial court has rejected a claim for alimony after a full trial, an award of temporary alimony pending appeal is permitted only in narrow circumstances. Section 61.071, Florida Statutes (2017), pertains to alimony in a dissolution proceeding and does not address a temporary award post-dissolution. Section 61.16(1), Florida Statutes (2017), provides for attorney's fees and costs "reasonably necessary to prosecute or defend an appeal, " but is silent on the issue of temporary alimony pending appeal; contrary to the Former Wife's argument, this section cannot be read to authorize an award of temporary alimony post-dissolution where a request for alimony has been rejected in the final judgment.

         Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.600(c)(1) provides that, pending an appeal, the "lower tribunal" retains jurisdiction to make "awards necessary to protect the welfare ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.