Davenport v. DavenportAnnotate this Case
Husband Dustin and Wife Keisha Davenport were divorced by final decree; Husband appeared pro se in the divorce proceeding. Wife, who had counsel, paid for a court reporter to record the bench trial. Husband did not participate in paying for the takedown. After the trial, Husband hired a lawyer, who filed a motion for new trial and a motion to compel production of the trial transcript (which Husband was then willing to pay for), asserting that the trial court failed to make a ruling at the start of the trial that Husband expressly refused to share the takedown expense. In response, Wife claimed that Husband had expressly refused to participate in the takedown after being given an opportunity to do so. At the hearing on the motion to compel, no transcript of the trial or of the discussion of the takedown was presented. The court entered an order summarily denying Husband’s motion to compel. Husband filed a notice of appeal directed to the Court of Appeals, which dismissed the appeal due to Husband’s failure to comply with the interlocutory appeal procedures. The trial court then held a hearing on Husband’s motion for new trial, and the court denied that motion. Husband filed an application for discretionary appeal with the Supreme Court, which was granted to determine whether the trial court erred in denying Husband’s motion to compel production of the trial transcript in the absence of a finding that the court made a ruling at the start of the trial that Husband refused to participate in paying takedown costs. The Supreme Court found the record on appeal would support a finding that Husband refused to participate in the reporting of the divorce trial. But the record did not support a finding that the trial court ruled on the takedown costs issue at the start of the trial. Thus, Wife failed to show that Husband was not entitled to a transcript, and the trial court’s order denying Husband’s motion to compel production of the trial transcript was reversed. Moreover, as a result of the trial court’s denial of Husband’s motion to compel, he was unable to cite the trial transcript in raising challenges to the divorce decree in his motion for new trial. The trial court's denial of Husband’s motion for new trial was vacated and the matter remanded with direction to enter an appropriate order granting Husband a transcript at his expense, after which he could seek review of the divorce decree by amending his new trial motion to reflect the contents of the trial transcript.