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Ex parte Robertson v. Robertson

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

August 15, 2014

Ex parte Kenneth Paul Robertson, Jr.
v.
Kenneth Paul Robertson, Jr. In re: Donna L. Robertson Kenneth Paul Robertson, Jr.
v.
Donna L. Robertson

Released for Publication September 15, 2015.

(Etowah Circuit Court, DR-09-900109). Appeal from Etowah Circuit Court. (DR-09-900109), Trial Judge: Laura B. Phillips, Judge.[*]

For Kenneth Paul Robertson, Jr., Petitioner/Appellant: Kenneth Paul Robertson, Jr., Gadsden.

For Donna L. Robertson, Respondent/Appellee: Sara C. Semmes, Anniston.

THOMAS, Judge. Pittman and Moore, JJ., concur. Thompson, P.J., and Donaldson, J., concur in the result, without writings.

OPINION

Page 971

PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS

THOMAS, Judge.

Kenneth Paul Robertson, Jr. (" the husband" ), and Donna L. Robertson (" the wife" ) were married on March 17, 1988. The parties separated on May 20, 2008, and, on November 6, 2009, the wife filed a complaint in the Etowah Circuit Court seeking, among other things, a divorce from the husband. The wife alleged that the husband had committed adultery. The husband is an attorney, and a number of circuit judges recused themselves from presiding over the case; a Calhoun County district judge was ultimately appointed to preside over the case.

A transcript of a December 11, 2009, hearing is included in the materials provided for our review.[1] The transcript demonstrates that the wife orally agreed to amend her complaint to withdraw the allegation of adultery, and, in the presence of the husband, who represented himself, the wife's attorney summarized the parties' oral agreement regarding, among other things, the division of their marital assets and debts. After the clarification of several issues, the circuit court directed the wife to prepare a written agreement, to provide the written agreement to the husband for his approval, and to submit the written agreement to the court. At the close of the hearing, the following colloquy occurred:

" THE COURT: Do you (referring to the wife) wish to put grounds [for divorce] on the record or do you wish to provide an affidavit?
" [THE WIFE'S ATTORNEY]: I wish to provide an affidavit and state irreconcilable differences.
" THE COURT: Okay, sounds good to me.
" [THE HUSBAND]: Your Honor, do we need to prove ...

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