In the Matter of the Paternity of S.M.J., a Minor, by and Through Her Mother and Next Friend Whitney D. Jacobs, Appellee,
David Roy Ogle, Appellant.
BY THE COURT
K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 20-1204a, a district judge must not proceed
with an indirect contempt hearing until the accused person is
present in court.
of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in 54 Kan.App.2d 618,
402 P.3d 607 (2017).
from Douglas District Court; Sally D. Pokorny, judge.
H. Berry, of Olathe Legal Clinic, of Olathe, argued the
cause, and was on the briefs for appellant.
J. Brown, of Law Office of David J. Brown, LC, of Lawrence,
argued the cause, and was on the briefs for appellee.
D. Jacobs challenges the Court of Appeals' decision to
vacate the judgment of the district court and remand this
case for reconsideration of David Roy Ogle's indirect
contempt of court and resulting sanctions. See In re
Paternity of S.M.J. v. Ogle, 54 Kan.App.2d 618, 402 P.3d
granted Jacobs' petition for review to address the sole
issue of whether Ogle's absence from the contempt hearing
should have prevented the district judge from proceeding. We
conclude that the district judge should not have conducted
the hearing on Jacobs' contempt motion until Ogle was
present. We therefore affirm the Court of Appeals'
decision to vacate the district court's judgment and
concise history of the parties' relationship and
Ogle's repeated, open behavior inconsistent with the
district judge's orders in this paternity and custody
proceeding appears in the Court of Appeals' opinion and
need not be repeated or substantially expanded upon here. It
is enough to introduce our legal discussion to say just four
things: (1) The gist of the district judge's orders was
that Ogle must cease widespread slander of Jacobs; (2) Jacobs
moved the court to hold Ogle in indirect contempt after his
contacts with her employer finally led her to leave her
teaching job; (3) the district judge held Ogle in contempt
and imposed sanctions after a hearing at which neither Ogle
nor his counsel appeared, despite notice of the hearing's
time and place; and (4) the judge rejected Ogle's motion
to rescind the contempt order, relying on Bond v.
Albin, 29 Kan.App.2d 262, 28 P.3d 394 (2000), to support
her position that the contempt hearing could be held in
of the issue before us requires interpretation or
construction of a statute. This means that we exercise de
novo review of the decisions in the district court and Court
of Appeals. Neighbor v. Westar Energy, Inc., 301
Kan. 916, 918, 349 P.3d 469 (2015). Our pattern for
interpretation and construction is often repeated:
"When a statute is plain and unambiguous, a court must
give effect to its express language, rather than determine
what the law should or should not be. The court will not
speculate on legislative intent and will not read the statute
to add something not readily found in it. If the
statute's language is clear, there is no need to resort
to statutory construction." Graham ...