from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Heather Welch,
Judge The Honorable Jeffrey L. Marchal, Magistrate Trial
Court Cause No. 49D01-1811-DN-43933
Attorney for Appellant Jonathan D. Harwell Indianapolis,
Appellee Pro Se Leslie M. Smith Indianapolis, Indiana
Rickey Smith ("Husband") appeals the trial
court's denial of his motion to continue the dissolution
hearing. We reverse and remand.
Husband presents one issue on appeal, which we restate as
whether the trial court abused its discretion when it denied
Husband's motion for continuance.
Husband and Leslie Smith ("Wife") married in 1986
and separated on November 2, 2018, when Wife filed a petition
for dissolution of marriage. The couple has one emancipated
adult child. On December 19, 2018, the trial court set the
final hearing for March 5, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.
On March 4, 2019, Husband's attorney filed a motion to
withdraw, indicating that: (1) "a breakdown in the
attorney client relationship has occurred. Counsel is no
longer able to adequately represent the Respondent. .
."; and (2) "[a]s of the date of filing, Respondent
no longer wishes Counsel to continue representation and has
obtained a copy of his entire file." Appellant's
App. Vol. II p. 15. Husband's attorney did not include a
motion to continue the dissolution hearing, which was set for
the following day. That same day, the trial court granted
Husband's attorney's motion to withdraw.
On March 5, 2019, Husband appeared pro se at the dissolution
hearing and Wife appeared with her counsel. When Wife's
attorney called Wife to testify, Husband and the trial court
engaged in the following discussion:
[HUSBAND]: I had surgery the 19th of February. I
still have 14 stitches in me. [Husband's former attorney]
did not send me nothing. I have not - I - I have not seen our
- uh W2 forms. I go to VA to try and get my VA started again.
And after the paperwork they said I haven't had my taxes
done in 5 years. But Josh said she has tax forms. So, Josh
got mad at me - I've been sleeping on the street since
September, sir. I'm 65 years old. She ran me out of the
house by turning off the thermos - the - uh. . . .
(Unintelligible) - uh - on both sides of the house. And then
she started using the nest - uh - (Unintelligible) setting
that off in the middle of the night. Then she started. . .
[WIFE'S ATTORNEY]: . . . Objection, Judge. . . .
[HUSBAND]: . . . I haven't seen anything. Josh
haven't [sic] given me anything. I had surgery the
19th. I was down (Unintelligible) - you can ...