Cox v. Cox, No. 2003-SC-0706-DG.

CourtKentucky Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtGraves
Citation170 S.W.3d 389
PartiesHarold Dale COX, Appellant, v. Shannon Kay COX (Now Esslinger), Appellee.
Decision Date25 August 2005
Docket NumberNo. 2003-SC-0706-DG.
170 S.W.3d 389
Harold Dale COX, Appellant,
v.
Shannon Kay COX (Now Esslinger), Appellee.
No. 2003-SC-0706-DG.
Supreme Court of Kentucky.
August 25, 2005.

Page 390

Paul V. Hibberd, Pregliasco Straw-Boone, Louisville, Counsel for Appellant.

Adam Clayton Miller, Danville, Counsel for Appellee.

GRAVES, Justice.


This case involves the registration and enforceability of a Texas judgment as a

Page 391

"foreign judgment" under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA), KRS 426.950-426.975. Appellant, Harold Dale Cox, and Appellee, Shannon Cox Esslinger, married in Texas in July 1998. The parties subsequently moved to Danville, Kentucky, where they purchased property. Appellee remained in Kentucky until July 15, 2000, when she relocated to Texas. On January 19, 2001, Appellee filed an original Petition for Divorce in the District Court of Smith County, Texas.

Appellant received via United States mail a Texas Citation for Personal Service Decree, and was personally served with notice in Danville by a Boyle County Deputy Sheriff. Appellant did not respond to the Petition for Divorce. The District Court of Smith County, Texas, entered a Final Decree of Divorce on October 2, 2001. The Decree divided the marital estate and returned to the parties their non-marital assets. The Decree also granted an equitable lien in favor of Appellee in the amount of $87,079.72. The lien was assessed against the real and personal property held by Appellant in Boyle County, Kentucky.

On December 7, 2001, Appellee filed a Notice and Affidavit of Foreign Judgment in the Boyle Circuit Court. In response, Appellant filed a Motion to Dismiss, Alter, Amend or Vacate. The trial court denied Appellant's motion. Appellee then filed a Motion for Enforcement of Foreign Judgment, which the trial court granted in an order entered on June 20, 2002. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's order. We granted review.

I.

Appellant argues that the trial court abused its discretion by authenticating a Texas judgment imposing a financial burden on him when the Texas court lacked in personam jurisdiction to do so.1 Appellant claims that in personam jurisdiction could have been established by the State of Texas only if he established minimum contacts with Texas such that the entry of a judgment did not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. International Shoe Co. v. State of Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 66 S.Ct. 154, 90 L.Ed. 95 (1945).

Appellee argues that the Texas judgment should be afforded full faith and credit under the UEFJA. Appellee also argues that Appellant should have raised and preserved the jurisdiction issue before the Texas trial court, and by failing to do so, he purposefully availed himself to the jurisdiction of that court.

The case requires us to review some fundamental principles of civil procedure regarding in personam jurisdiction. In Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714, 24 L.Ed. 565 (1877), the United States Supreme Court held that, under the Due Process Clause, a state cannot assert in personam jurisdiction over a defendant unless that defendant was personally served with process in that state, or voluntarily appeared before the court. Id. at 733.

International Shoe Co., supra, expanded the personal jurisdiction reach of courts beyond the rule enunciated in Pennoyer. The Court held that even when a defendant is...

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6 practice notes
  • Evans v. Hess, NO. 2013-CA-002072-ME
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • April 8, 2016
    ...jurisdiction may be established by a party's availing himself of the benefits and protections of the laws of the forum state (Cox v. Cox, 170 S.W.3d 389 (Ky. 2005) (citing Int'l Shoe Co. v. State of Washington, Office of Unemp. Compensation and Placement, 326 U.S. 310, 66 S.Ct. 154, 90 L.Ed......
  • Robinson v. Robinson, No. 2006-CA-001095-ME.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • December 1, 2006
    ...___ S.W.3d ___, 2006 WL 658938 (Ky.App.2006)(Opinion Final, May 5, 2006); Allen v. Devine, 178 S.W.3d 517 (Ky.App. 2005); Cox v. Cox, 170 S.W.3d 389 (Ky.2005); Fowler v. Sowers, 151 S.W.3d 357, 359 (Ky. App.2004); Fenwick v. Fenwick, 114 S.W.3d 767, 779 (Ky.2003); Scheer v. Zeigler, 21 S.W.......
  • Gibson v. Gibson, No. 2004-CA-000313-MR.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • December 22, 2006
    ...refer to "subject-matter" jurisdiction, while we believe the correct concept is "in personam" or "personal" jurisdiction. Cox v. Cox, 170 S.W.3d 389 4. This order specifically states that Sheri and the children had resided in North Carolina since 1999. 5. Sheri describes this order as a "mo......
  • Marrs v. Walters Automobiles, Inc., NO. 2012-CA-001235-MR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • January 31, 2014
    ...(Ky. App. 2012) (quoting Doe v. Golden & Walters, PLLC, 173 S.W.3d 260, 270 (Ky. App. 2005) (footnotes omitted)). See also Cox v. Cox, 170 S.W.3d 389 (Ky. 2005). 4. KRS 417.170 states:(1) Upon application made within ninety (90) days after delivery of a copy of the award to the applicant, t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Evans v. Hess, NO. 2013-CA-002072-ME
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • April 8, 2016
    ...jurisdiction may be established by a party's availing himself of the benefits and protections of the laws of the forum state (Cox v. Cox, 170 S.W.3d 389 (Ky. 2005) (citing Int'l Shoe Co. v. State of Washington, Office of Unemp. Compensation and Placement, 326 U.S. 310, 66 S.Ct. 154, 90 L.Ed......
  • Robinson v. Robinson, No. 2006-CA-001095-ME.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • December 1, 2006
    ...___ S.W.3d ___, 2006 WL 658938 (Ky.App.2006)(Opinion Final, May 5, 2006); Allen v. Devine, 178 S.W.3d 517 (Ky.App. 2005); Cox v. Cox, 170 S.W.3d 389 (Ky.2005); Fowler v. Sowers, 151 S.W.3d 357, 359 (Ky. App.2004); Fenwick v. Fenwick, 114 S.W.3d 767, 779 (Ky.2003); Scheer v. Zeigler, 21 S.W.......
  • Gibson v. Gibson, No. 2004-CA-000313-MR.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • December 22, 2006
    ...refer to "subject-matter" jurisdiction, while we believe the correct concept is "in personam" or "personal" jurisdiction. Cox v. Cox, 170 S.W.3d 389 4. This order specifically states that Sheri and the children had resided in North Carolina since 1999. 5. Sheri describes this order as a "mo......
  • Marrs v. Walters Automobiles, Inc., NO. 2012-CA-001235-MR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • January 31, 2014
    ...(Ky. App. 2012) (quoting Doe v. Golden & Walters, PLLC, 173 S.W.3d 260, 270 (Ky. App. 2005) (footnotes omitted)). See also Cox v. Cox, 170 S.W.3d 389 (Ky. 2005). 4. KRS 417.170 states:(1) Upon application made within ninety (90) days after delivery of a copy of the award to the applicant, t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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