Muzyka v. Herko: Missed Court Date in Arizona
The parties were married for fifteen years when the wife petitioned for divorce in 2007. During the case, the husband notified the court of injuries he sustained in a 2010 car accident. He informed the court his injuries prevented him from traveling to Arizona for his divorce trial. He submitted two letters from two neurologists supporting his statements to the court.
Ever wondered what happens if you missed your court date in an Arizona divorce or family law case? That issue was addressed by the Arizona Court of Appeals in the unpublished case of Muzyka v. Herko.
The final trial was set for August 2012. The court denied the husband’s request to continue the trial. The court, however, permitted the husband to appear by telephone for the trial. The husband called into court in the morning for the first half of the trial. The husband, however, did not call back when the trial resumed in the afternoon.
Husband Does Not Appear For The Remainder of the Divorce Trial
The family court received a call from a person who indicated he was a physician’s assistant. The individual told the court the husband would not be calling the court for the afternoon part of the trial. The person then hung up before the court could obtain more information. The judge considered the circumstances and decided to proceed with the afternoon part of the divorce trial without the husband’s participation. The judge then issued a final ruling.
The husband filed a motion for seeking a new trial and a stay of the effect of the judge’s orders. The trial judge denied the husband’s motion to schedule another trial. The trial judge also denied the husband’s request for the court to temporarily suspend (“stay”) the effect of the orders issued at the trial. The husband appealed those decisions to the Arizona Court of Appeals.
Effect of Missing a Divorce Trial in Arizona
The Arizona Court of Appeals court concluded the trial court did not abuse its discretion in proceeding with the trial in the husband’s absence. The divorce case had already been pending for five years when the case went to trial. The message from the alleged physician’s assistant was cryptic and not long enough to allow questions to be asked by the trial court.
The court of appeals noted the trial judge received the letters from the physicians attached to the husband’s motion to continue the trial. However, the letters did not provide all of the necessary information the court needed to justify continuing the trial.
The trial judge ruled the husband’s reasons for seeking a continuance of the trial were not substantiated by the letters. The court found his failure to appear during the second portion of the trial was a “last-ditch effort to thwart proceedings”.
The Court of Appeals concluded the trial judge’s ruling to proceed with the trial. This was based upon the trial judge’s assessment of the husband’s credibility.
The Court of Appeals will defer to the trial court’s determination of the credibility of a witness. A trial judge has the discretion to control and manage the trial. The court of appeals did not find any evidence the trial court abused its discretion in proceeding with the trial in his absence.
Prejudice as a Basis for Reversal
The husband disputes a number of the trial judge’s factual findings on a number of issues. He disputed the calculation of the length of the parties’ marriage. Also, the length of time the wife operated her business. Unfortunately, the husband did not provide any detail regarding exactly how the alleged errors were prejudicial to him.
Husband also argued the trial judge made a number of errors regarding the division of the parties’ property, regarding the division of tax debt, and other issues. The husband, however, was not able to direct the Court of Appeals to any portion of the record that would support his positions.
The Court of Appeals concluded some of the husband’s arguments failed to recognize the differences between New Jersey and Arizona divorce laws. Other arguments presented by the husband were found by the court of appeals to be based upon hearsay because he failed to provide the court of appeals with a transcript of the trial.
The Arizona Court of Appeals, therefore, affirmed the rulings of the family court judge in this case.
More Articles About Divorce in Arizona
- The advantage of Filing Divorce First in Arizona
- Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable in Arizona
- Arizona Divorce
- Arizona Divorce Attorney Reviews
- Arizona Divorce Child Custody
- Arizona Divorce Debt
- Arizona Divorce Forms
- Arizona Divorce Laws
- Arizona Divorce Laws Alimony
- Arizona Divorce Laws and Statutes
- Arizona Divorce Laws on Adultery
- Arizona Divorce Papers
- Arizona Divorce Practice
- Arizona Divorce Process
- Arizona Divorce Records Search
- Arizona Marriage Laws
- Asset and Property Search in an Arizona Divorce
- Arizona Divorce When You Can’t Find Your Spouse
- Change to Maiden Name After Divorce in Arizona
- Changing Orders in an Arizona Divorce Decree
- Children and Divorce in Arizona
- College Expenses After Divorce in Arizona
- Complex Divorce Cases in Arizona
- Conciliation Court Services in Arizona
- Consent Required for Marriage of Minors in Arizona
- Considering the Children during a Divorce in Arizona
- Convert to a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- Coping With Divorce in Arizona
- Court Services to Save a Marriage in Arizona
- Custody of the Family Pet in a Divorce in Arizona
- Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona
- Divorce After Legal Separation in Arizona
- Divorce and Children in Arizona
- Divorce Arizona
- Divorce Case is on the Inactive Calendar in Arizona
- Divorce Court Jurisdiction in Arizona
- Divorce in Arizona Without Children
- Divorce Procedures in Arizona
- Divorce Records in Arizona
- Divorce Statistics in Arizona
- Divorce Support Groups in Arizona
- Domestic Violence and Divorce in Arizona
- Effect of Adultery on an Arizona Divorce
- Effects of Divorce on Children in Arizona
- Enforceable Arizona Prenuptial Agreements
- Failure to Include an Issue in an Arizona Divorce
- Filing for Divorce in Arizona
- Filing for Divorce to Receive Alimony in Arizona
- Guide to Divorce for Men in Arizona
- High Asset Divorce in Arizona
- High Conflict Divorce in Arizona
- High Net Worth Divorce Arizona
- How is a Divorce Finalized in Arizona
- How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in Arizona
- How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Arizona
- How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced in Arizona
- How Long Does Uncontested Divorce Take in Arizona
- How Long To Be Separated Before Divorce in Arizona
- How long to get Temporary Orders in Arizona
- How Much Does it Cost to Get a Divorce in Arizona
- How to Appeal a Divorce Decree in Arizona
- How To Find Good Divorce Attorney in Arizona
- How to Start a Divorce in Arizona
- Learn About Uncontested Divorce in Arizona
- Legally Separated File Divorce in Arizona
- Marital Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- The merger of the Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- Military Divorce Laws in Arizona
- Misled Into Signing Divorce Settlement in Arizona
- Modifying a Divorce Decree in Arizona
- No Contest Divorce in Arizona
- No-Fault Divorce in Arizona
- Order to Pay Spouses Attorney Fees in Arizona
- Parenting Class During a Divorce in Arizona
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona
- Protect Children in a Divorce in Arizona
- Quick Divorce in Arizona
- Reasons for Divorce in Arizona
- Reasons to File for Divorce in Arizona
- Represent Yourself in Arizona Divorce Case
- Same-Sex Divorce in Arizona
- Sealing Court Records in an Arizona Divorce
- Sell Home During Divorce in Arizona
- Selling Property During a Divorce in Arizona
- Served With Divorce Papers in Arizona
- Serving Divorce Papers by Publication in Arizona
- Should I Keep the House in a Divorce in Arizona
- Social Media Evidence in Divorce in Arizona
- Stop an Arizona Divorce
- Stop an Arizona Divorce if You Change Your Mind
- What Happens at a Resolution Management Conference in Arizona
- What Happens If the Divorce Case Goes to Trial in Arizona
- What Happens Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
- What is a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- What is a Default Divorce in Arizona
- What is a Family Law Master in an Arizona Divorce Case
- What is a Preliminary Injunction in an Arizona Divorce
- What is a Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
- What is the Divorce Process in Arizona
- What Reasons Do I Need to Obtain a Divorce in a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- What to do When Served with Divorce Papers in Arizona
- When Can I File For Divorce in Arizona
Chris Hildebrand wrote the information on this page about what happens when someone misses a court date in an Arizona divorce case to ensure everyone has access to information about family law in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and, quite frankly, actually caring about what his clients are going through in a divorce or family law case. In short, his practice is defined by the success of his clients. He also manages all of the other attorneys at his firm to make sure the outcomes in their clients’ cases are successful as well.