Dispositions Other than by Published Opinions | May 5 | Courts and More

May 4, 2021

Courts and More Vol. 1 | No. 18 | May 5, 2021

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals

Division I

Division II

118,617 – Stacy Bolding, Petitioner/Appellee, vs. Eric Bolding, Respondent/ Appellant.  Proceeding to review a Judgment of the District Court of Pittsburg County, Hon. Mindy Beare, Trial Judge.  Eric Bolding (Father) appeals the visitation schedule and conditions of visitation ordered by the district court.  In March 2019, Mother filed a verified “motion to modify” stating that Father’s then girlfriend had been shot at Father’s residence and asking the court to suspend visitation until a police investigation of the shooting was concluded.  The court eventually set a visitation schedule, ordered that Father was to enroll in the 52-week Batterer’s Intervention Program before overnight visitation was allowed, and ordered that no members of the opposite sex were to be present during visitation.  Father appeals these decisions.  We find no error in the admission of the girlfriend’s dying declaration in this matter.  We find that the confrontation clause does not apply in the situation present here.  We find that Father failed to preserve any claim of bias by the trial judge.  We find that Father stipulated his willingness to attend the Batterer’s Intervention Program in open court, and is thereby estopped from challenging that decision on appeal.  AFFIRMED.  Opinion from Court of Civil Appeals, Division II, by BARNES, J.; WISEMAN, P.J., and FISCHER, V.C.J. (sitting by designation), concur. April 30, 2021

Division III

119,243  –  In Re The Matter of The Adoption of Baby Boy A a/k/a A.R.M., a minor child, Aider Gerardo Matarrita Sequeira and Sharon Ann Wilson, Appellants, v. Adopthelp, Appellee.  Appeal from the District Court of Tulsa County, Oklahoma.  Honorable Kurt G. Glassco, Trial Judge. In this uncontested, private adoption proceeding, Appellants, Aider Gerardo Matarrita Sequeira  and Sharon Ann Wilson (Adoptive Parents), appeal from the trial court’s sua sponte order disapproving of a portion of the fees and expenses paid by Adoptive Parents in connection with the adoption of Baby Boy A a/k/a A.R.M., a minor child.  Adoptive Parents filed an affidavit of expenses pursuant to 10 O.S. 2011 §7505-3.2(A), and sought the district court’s review of $38,921.13 in adoption related expenses.  Adoptive Parents also listed $14,200.00 in expenses which Adoptive Parents aver are not connected to the adoption and, therefore, are outside the scope of §7505-3.2.  The court held the total requested of $53,121.13 was excessive; International Family Services’ (IFS) fees were excessive and a reasonable fee would be $5,000.00; the Google-Internet advertising expenses were not authorized by the Adoption Code; and AdoptHelp, Inc.’s (AdoptHelp) fee was not supported by the evidence and a reasonable fee would be $2,250.00.  The court’s order allowed $33,171.13 in fees and expenses and ordered that $19,950.00 of fees and expenses be reimbursed to Adoptive Parents.  After reviewing the record and applicable law, this Court finds the district court did not err or abuse its discretion when it determined all of Adoptive Parents’ fees and expenses were subject to review and approval.  We also affirm the district court’s determination that a portion of the fees and expenses paid to IFS and AdoptHelp was unreasonable.  Because Parents already had the opportunity to present their evidence of the unusual circumstances or need for such expenditures in the district court, we decline to reverse and remand for another proverbial “bite at the apple.”  Finally, we cannot find the district court erred when it disallowed adoptive Parents advertising fees.  Title 21 O.S. 2011 §866(A)(1)(h) does not prohibit advertising to solicit a pregnant woman to consider adoptive placement with Adoptive Parents or to locate a child for an adoptive placement into Adoptive Parents’ own home.  However, we cannot find the district court abused its discretion when it determined Adoptive Parents failed to meet their burden of showing that the internet advertising expenses fell under the  “unusual circumstance” provision at §7505-3.2(B)(4).  We affirm the district court’s determination to disallow such advertising expenditure.  The district court’s order is AFFIRMED. Opinion by BELL, J.; PEMBERTON, P.J., and SWINTON, C.J., concur. April 27, 2021

118,855 – Dr. Jayen Patel, Plaintiff/Appellant, v. Tulsa Pain Consultants, Inc., P.C., Dr. Martin Martucci, M.D., Dr. Andreas Revelis, M.D., Robert Saenz, Alana Campbell, Fr. Lam Nguyen, M.D., Pat Mcfadden, and Ebondie Titworth, Defendants/Appellees. Appeal from the District Court of Tulsa County, Oklahoma.  Honorable Jefferson D. Sellers, Judge. Dr. Jayen Patel, M.D. appeals the Tulsa County District Court’s May 6, 2020 order issuing findings of fact and conclusions of law, and granting a judgment for attorney fees, costs and sanctions in favor of Tulsa Pain Consultants, Inc., P.C. (TPC) in the amount of $608,475.06. Patel raises two propositions of error. Patel asserts the court erred as a matter of law by awarding the prevailing party attorney fees, because the wrongful discharge tort claim which proceeded to trial was not an action to secure the “performance” or “interpretation” of the employment agreement—one or both of which were needed to trigger the contractual attorney fee provision. Patel next asserts even were the court to find there was an “interpretation” of the employment agreement, the attorney fees are not recoverable, because the shareholders agreement governs this dispute and the shareholders agreement does not provide for attorney fees. We disagree with the contentions and affirm. The May 6, 2020 order of the Tulsa County District Court, awarding attorney fees, sanctions and costs in the amount of $608,475.06, is AFFIRMED. Opinion by PEMBERTON, P.J.; SWINTON, C.J., and BELL, J., concur. April 28, 2021

Division IV

119,130 – In the Matter of the Adoption of D.N.R., and J.C.R., Donovan Riley, Appellant, vs. William Joseph Hale and Beth Ann Hale, Appellees.  Appeal from an order of the District Court of Tulsa County, Hon. Kurt Glassco, Trial Judge.  Donovan Riley (Natural Father) appeals the trial court’s finding that his minor children, D.N.R. and J.C.R., are eligible for adoption without his consent by William Joseph Hale (Stepfather).  The trial court’s findings that Natural Father willfully failed to pay child support in substantial compliance with the child support order were supported by the clear weight of the clear and convincing evidence.  We find no error and therefore affirm the trial court’s September 14, 2020 order finding Natural Father’s consent was not required for the minor children’s adoption by their Stepfather.  AFFIRMED.  Opinion from Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV, by HIXON, P.J.; FISCHER, V.C.J., and RAPP, J., concur. April 28, 2021

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