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Lee v. Lee

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, First Division

November 25, 2014

MEGAN M. LEE, Respondent,
v.
SHANE D. LEE, Appellant

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Clay County, Missouri. The Honorable David Paul Chamberlain, Judge.

For Respondent: Thomas C. McGiffin, Liberty, MO.

For Appellant: Shannon Kathleen Spence, Kansas City, MO.

Before: Thomas H. Newton, P.J., Lisa White Hardwick, Anthony Rex Gabbert, JJ. All concur.

OPINION

Page 384

Anthony Rex Gabbert, Judge

Shane D. Lee (" Husband" ) appeals the circuit court's judgment denying his motion to set aside a judgment against him. Husband raises one point on appeal. In his sole point on appeal, Husband argues that the trial court erred and abused its discretion in overruling his Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment. Husband contends that he presented sufficient evidence to the trial court to establish a meritorious defense and good cause, as required by Rule 74.05(d), for failing to file a responsive pleading to Wife's Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. We affirm.

Factual Background

Husband and Megan M. Lee (" Wife" ) were married on November 28, 2009 in Clark County, Nevada. During their marriage, Husband and Wife had one child. The child is now two years old. The parties resided in Clay County, Missouri until they separated. After separation, Husband relocated to the state of Louisiana.

On May 2, 2013, Wife filed her Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Husband was served with the summons and process in this cause on May 30, 2013. Thirty days elapsed and Husband failed to file any responsive pleadings. Nearly seventy-five days had elapsed between the service date and the date counsel filed a Notice of Hearing. Wife's counsel sent a Notice of Hearing directly to Husband on August 12, 2013. The notice specifically indicated that this cause would be called on August 22, 2013. The notice also contained contact information for Wife's counsel as well as the phone number to the court where the hearing would be held.

At the hearing on August 22, 2013, Wife appeared in person and by counsel. Husband failed to appear. This cause was called for disposition. This Court entered a Default Judgment and Decree of Dissolution of Marriage on August 22, 2013. The dissolution decree granted Wife sole physical and legal custody of their child with Husband receiving restricted supervised visitation in the Kansas City area. The decree also ordered Husband to pay monthly child support in the amount of $1,656 and spousal maintenance in the amount of $2,000 per month.

On September 4, 2013, Husband filed a Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment. Wife filed in Opposition with Suggestions in Support on September 9, 2013. A hearing

Page 385

was held on December 18, 2013. At the hearing, both Husband and Wife testified. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court denied Husband's Motion to Set ...


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