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.

Tarbutton v. Tarbutton

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

June 27, 2018

STEPHEN LOUIS TARBUTTON Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
BREANNA DANIELLE TARBUTTON Defendant-Appellant

          Appealed from the Third Judicial District Court for the Parish of Lincoln, Louisiana Trial Court No. 58120, Honorable Thomas W. Rogers, Judge

          STEPHEN LOUIS TARBUTTON Plaintiff-Appellee

          BREANNA DANIELLE TARBUTTON Defendant-Appellant

          Before WILLIAMS, PITMAN, and STEPHENS, JJ.

          WILLIAMS, J.

         Breanna Tarbutton appeals a judgment awarding her $63.40 per month in interim and final spousal support until the homeschooling of the children ends or the oldest child's 18th birthday. The trial court denied Breanna's ex parte motion for a continuance and found that Stephen Tarbutton should continue paying the amount of the monthly premium of Breanna's auto insurance as spousal support. For the following reasons, we amend the judgment and affirm as amended.

         FACTS

         After the parties were divorced in April 2016, a hearing was scheduled on Breanna's request that Stephen's visitation with their two children be supervised and that she receive spousal support. At the hearing, Breanna sought a continuance to allow her time to obtain a new attorney. At the rescheduled hearing in September 2016, Breanna again appeared without counsel and sought another continuance, which was denied by the district court. After testimony by Breanna and Stephen, the court denied her requests for spousal support and supervised visitation. The district court awarded the parties joint custody with daily visitation by Stephen to participate in the homeschooling of the children, alternating weeks in the summer and holidays. Breanna appealed the denial of spousal support and the award of joint custody. On appeal, this court reversed that part of the judgment denying spousal support and remanded the matter. Tarbutton v. Tarbutton, 51, 486 (La.App. 2 Cir. 5/2/17), 217 So.3d 1281.

         On remand, the parties were ordered to file affidavits of income and expenses. At the hearing, Breanna appeared and sought a continuance, which was granted. The trial court reset the hearing for September 21, 2017, without any objection by Breanna. On September 20, 2017, Breanna filed an ex parte motion for continuance alleging that September 21 was Rosh Hashanah, a day of religious observance for her. The district court staff contacted Breanna and told her that she would need to appear at the hearing unless Stephen agreed to a continuance. The next day, Breanna failed to appear at the hearing and did not send any further communication to the court. Stephen's attorney informed the court that her office had been contacted by Breanna seeking consent to the continuance, but she was informed that Stephen would not agree. The trial court proceeded with the hearing, denying the motion to continue.

         Stephen's affidavit of income and expenses was admitted into evidence and he testified about his knowledge of the mobile home situation. Stephen stated that Breanna was living with their children in a mobile home that had been purchased for her use and located on land that he had inherited from his father. He explained that she was living in the home without paying rent and he supplied water, but she paid the other utilities. Stephen testified that he had agreed that Breanna could keep the mobile home as her property, but she would need to remove the home from the land after the youngest child turned 18 years old or pay rent. Stephen stated that he was not aware that Breanna observed Rosh Hashanah.

         In written reasons for judgment, the trial court stated that because Breanna did not appear and could not be questioned about her financial affidavit, the document had not been introduced into evidence and was not considered in the determination of spousal support. Instead, the trial court considered Breanna's testimony about her income and expenses admitted into evidence at the prior hearing in September 2016. The court noted that

          Stephen had been paying Breanna's monthly auto insurance premium of $63.40 and found that her earning capacity would be sufficient to meet her expenses if she were not homeschooling the children. The trial court rendered judgment awarding Breanna the amount of $63.40 per month as interim and final spousal support until the homeschooling of the two children ends or the oldest child turns 18 years of age, whichever occurred first. Breanna appeals the judgment.

         DISCUSSION

         Breanna contends the trial court erred in denying her motion for continuance. She argues that the court's denial of the continuance violated her constitutional rights to the free exercise of religion because the hearing was scheduled for ...


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.