Articles Posted in Kentucky Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the order of the circuit court dismissing Appellants’ appeal of a Georgetown-Scott County Planning Commission for lack of jurisdiction. The Planning Commission had approved a plat amendment requested by a developer to remove a planned lake from the development plan applicable to Appellants’ subdivision. Appellants appealed. The circuit court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction over the matter because Appellants had not strictly complied with the provisions of Ky. Rev. Stat. 100.347 by taking their appeal within the statutorily-allotted time period. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellants failed to commence their action before the expiration of the time allotted by section 100.347(2). View "Isaacs v. Caldwell" on Justia Law

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Appellants, several individuals, contended that a Robertson County passway was a private drive, and Appellees, Robertson County, the County Fiscal Court, and an individual (collectively, Fiscal Court), argued that the passway was a part of the formal county road system of the County. Appellant asked the Fiscal Court to acknowledge there had never been a formal adoption of the passway into the official county road system, but the Fiscal Court declined. Appellants subsequently filed a complaint in the circuit court seeking a declaratory judgment that the passway was not a lawfully adopted county road. The trial court granted Appellants' motion for summary judgment. The Fiscal Court appealed, arguing that the trial court erred by treating the case as an original action pursuant to the declaratory judgment statute instead of an appeal from an action of the County Fiscal Court. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that Appellants' action could be brought in the circuit court only as an appeal from the decision of the County Fiscal Court. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because no appealable event occurred under the facts of this case, Appellants properly invoked the declaratory judgment process to challenge the legal status of the passway. View "Whitley v. Robertson County" on Justia Law

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At dispute in this case was passway located in Robertson County. Appellants, several individuals, contended that the passway was a private drive, whereas Appellees, Robertson County and one individual, contended that the passway was a county road. Appellants unsuccessfully petitioned the county fiscal court to abandon, or discontinue, the county road system. Appellants then filed a complaint in the circuit court seeking a declaratory judgment that the disputed section was not a lawfully adopted county road. The circuit court treated Appellants' action as a de novo action for declaratory judgment, giving no deference to prior findings of the fiscal court action. The court of appeals reversed, holding that Appellants' action could be brought in the circuit court only as an appeal from a decision of the fiscal court refusing to order the abandonment of the county road, not as a declaratory judgment action. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Appellants properly invoked the declaratory judgment process of Ky. Rev. Stat. 413.040 to challenge the legal status of the disputed passway and that the action could not be characterized as an appeal from a fiscal court decision because no appealable event had occurred. View "Whitley v. Robertson County" on Justia Law

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At issue in this appeal was the question of an agent's authority to bind his or her principal to an arbitration agreement presented with other documents upon the principal's admission to a long-term care facility. Agent in this case was the daughter and executrix of the deceased Principal. Agent brought a claim for negligence against the long-term care facility where Principal spent the last years of her life. Invoking an arbitration agreement executed in conjunction with Principal's admission to the nursing home, Defendants moved the trial court to dismiss the complaint. The trial court denied the motion, holding that Agent, who executed the admissions agreement on behalf of Principal, had no authority to agree to arbitration. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the agreement was enforceable. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the optional arbitration agreement Agent purported to execute on Principal's behalf was beyond the scope of Agent's authority and was therefore unenforceable. View "Ping v. Beverly Enters., Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court in this case granted review to decide whether the City of Florence violated the Open Meetings Act when it agreed in private discussions to settle a pending lawsuit in a zoning matter when the settlement itself was voted on in an open meeting. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the City. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because the Open Meetings Act specifically allows for private discussions of pending or proposed litigation, the City did not violate the Open Meetings Act, where the final, binding vote on the settlement was conducted at a public meeting. View "Cunningham v. Whalen" on Justia Law

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After the fiscal court voted to discontinue maintenance on a county road, Appellant, who owned property and lived on the road, erected a locked gate blocking the road and provided a key to each property owner on the road. Appellees, a non-profit association known as Preserve Rural Roads of Madison County, filed suit against Appellant to force him to remove the gates. The circuit court granted Appellees' motion for summary judgment, finding that Appellees had standing and that Appellant was without legal right or ownership to prohibit others from using the road. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Rural Roads had associational standing in this matter; (2) the discontinuance of maintenance on the county road did not affect any public easement rights; and (3) the lower courts' decisions in this case, holding that the county road is a public road and that Appellant could not block the road with gates, did not constitute an unlawful taking of Appellant's land. View "Bailey v. Preserve Rural Rds. of Madison County, Inc." on Justia Law