The Kentucky Supreme Court overturns Ward v. Housman regarding Rules for Dismissal Due to Lack of Prosecution. – New Standard Created Expanding Criteria Court Must Consider Before Dismissing a Case

On Oct. 29th. the Kentucky Supreme Court created new standards for review of dismissal of civil action for lack of prosecution.  The court held in part:

“…to the extent that other cases have held or suggested that all factors listed in Ward must always be fully discussed in all orders dismissing cases for lack of prosecution under CR 41 .02, those cases are overruled .

 In the future, the trial court must base its decision to dismiss under CR 41 .02 upon the totality of the circumstances ; and it should take into account all relevant factors, whether or not those factors are listed in Ward .

 Trial courts must make explicit findings on the record so that the parties and appellate courts will be properly apprised of the basis for the trial court’s rulings; and the appellate courts can assess whether the trial court properly considered the totality of the circumstances in dismissing the case .

 we again emphasize that the propriety of an order dismissing a case under CR 41 .02(1) for lack of prosecution depends upon whether the trial court abused its discretion under all relevant facts and circumstances, not on whether the trial court recited the six factors listed in Ward.”

For full text and synopsis of this important case LawReader subscribers can go to: KENTUCKY SUPREME COURT DECISIONS OCTOBER 2009  Case no. 22

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