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Evidentiary and other issues

Strangulation; Tampering with Physical Evidence; Marsy’s Law

Issues include whether a defendant may invoke the rights afforded to a victim or inquire whether a victim’s rights may have been violated as a basis for vacating a conviction. Issues also include whether evidence was sufficient to support a conviction for tampering with evidence where the defendant drops drugs in the presence and view of police in light of the Kentucky Supreme Court’s decision in Commonwealth v. Bell. Affirmed in part. 
Reversed in part.

Interpersonal Protective Order; Stalking; Harassment

The evidence presented did not rise to the level of a “course of conduct” which seriously alarms, annoys, intimidates, or harasses the person and serves no legitimate purpose and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial mental distress. In addition, when petitioning the Court to extend an IPO, acts cannot simply be the same acts that were relied upon more than three prior to support the initial order. Vacated.

Human Trafficking; Human Trafficking Victims Service Fee

Any person convicted of an offense in KRS 529.100 or 529.110 shall be ordered to pay, in addition to any other fines, penalties, or applicable forfeitures, a human trafficking victims service fee of not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to be remitted to the fund created in KRS 529.140. Appellant argued that the trial court should have waived the fee as to him, due to indigency. Affirmed.

Domestic Violence Order

Cross domestic violence petitions were filed amongst a wife and her husband. The family court granted the wife’s petition and denied the husband’s petition. On appeal, the husband argued that the family court erred when it prohibited him from introducing evidence regarding the wife’s mental illness and that the court failed to make sufficient findings of fact. Affirmed.


Domestic Violence Order; Personal Jurisdiction; Forum

A mother appealed on behalf of her minor child from an order of the family court which dismissed domestic violence petitions the mother filed to protect her child from the child’s father and a minor child, who is her child’s half-sibling. The Court of Appeals agreed that Kentucky was an inappropriate forum and lacked personal jurisdiction over the father and the sibling. Affirmed.


IPO was Not Voidable Simply Because Family Court Failed to set Timely Hearing

On appeal, the appellant argued the IPO entered by the family court was voidable because the family court lost jurisdiction over the case when it failed to set a hearing within 14 days. The Kentucky Court of Appeals held, although the family court clearly failed to follow the statute, the appellant was not harmed by the 21-day continuance. Affirmed.

Appeal Based on Whether Facts Supported a Finding of Domestic Violence

This case is an appeal from two domestic violence orders ("DVOs") rendered by the Circuit Court. The court restrained the parties from any contact or communication with their daughter, their daughter’s husband, and their three minor children. In this consolidated appeal, appellants argue that the facts do not support the issuance of the DVOs, and that the circuit court erred in failing to so rule. The Court found find no error and affirmed the DVOs on appeal.

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