Christian v. Clemente

Because discussion is circulating that the Court of Appeals may be moved to publish this case, we are digesting it for you.
Christian v. Clemente (unpublished)

Mom appealed trial court's decision that it lacked personal jurisdiction over dad and therefore, could not order child support. Mom and dad had a relationship but were never married. Eventually, dad moved to Pennsylvania. Fifteen years later mom filed a paternity and child support action in Kentucky. Dad submitted to a paternity test, which revealed he was the child’s father. However, he asserted that the court lacked personal jurisdiction because mom failed to file within the statute of limitation set forth in KRS 454.220. Mom argued that several other statutes governed the statute of limitations for paternity actions demanding child support. CA, however, held in favor of dad.
CA opined that KRS § 454.220 applies to child support actions against nonresidents even if there is an underlying paternity action. The CA relied on basic statutory interpretation to arrive at this ruling. The court opined that KRS 454.220 was most specific statute with regards to the present issue. Accordingly, KRS 454.220 controls over all other less specific statutes on the issue. Additionally, the lack of language, in KRS 454.220 or later enacted statutes, indicating otherwise signified the legislature’s intent that KRS 454.220 be controlling, with regards to orders for child support against nonresident parents. Furthermore, the court held the instant case was not distinguishable from Parmelee, 18 S.W.3d 347.
Digested by Linda Dixon Bullock, Diana L. Skaggs + Associates.