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Callihan v. Callihan

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

September 15, 2017

TERRY CALLIHAN APPELLANT
v.
BRIANNA CALLIHAN APPELLEE

         APPEAL FROM GREENUP CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE JEFFREY L. PRESTON, JUDGE ACTION NO. 13-CI-00196

          BRIEF FOR APPELLANT: Matthew J. Warnock

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE: Jeffrey D. Hensley

          BEFORE: COMBS, JOHNSON, D. LAMBERT, JUDGES.

          OPINION

          JOHNSON, JUDGE:

          Terry Callihan ("Terry") brings this appeal from an order of the Greenup Circuit Court, Family Division, sustaining Brianna Callihan's ("Brianna") motion seeking indemnity and reimbursement from Terry for litigation filed against her by PNC Bank, along with payment for her attorney's fees. After reviewing the record in conjunction with the applicable legal authorities, we AFFIRM the Greenup Circuit Family Court.

          BACKGROUND

         Terry and Brianna married on November 18, 1994, separated on March 30, 2013, and both parties signed a Settlement Agreement on May 8, 2014. The family court entered its Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Decree of Dissolution on May 13, 2014, incorporating the aforementioned Settlement Agreement between the parties.

         Terry, co-owner of a heating and air conditioning company, obtained a loan from PNC Bank in 2002. The note for the loan was signed by Terry and his business partner as the principals on the loan, but Brianna and the business partner's wife signed the loan as guarantors. The parties defaulted on the note. Terry filed for relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code and discharged his personal liability for the loan. The business partner and the business partner's wife worked out a settlement agreement with the bank to resolve their liability on the debt. PNC Bank sued Brianna on January 25, 2016, to collect the remainder of what was owed on the loan.

         Brianna filed a Verified Motion for Contempt on February 26, 2016, to hold Terry in contempt, alleging that he failed to comply with the terms of the parties' Settlement Agreement that was incorporated into the parties' final divorce decree. She moved the family court to compel Terry to indemnify her "for any monies paid to PNC and for all costs and attorney fees associated with defending said action and also all costs and attorney fees associated with filing this Motion in family court."

          The relevant portions of the parties' Settlement Agreement state the following:

Paragraph 4: MARITAL DEBT: Each party shall be responsible for any and all debt solely in their name or in their business.
. . . .
Paragraph 14: BUSINESS DEBT: [Terry] agrees to hold harmless and indemnify [Brianna] for any debts or obligations ...

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