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November 12, 2008
The Franklin Times

Dunston files appeal against court’s child support ruling


Legal representatives for a county commissioner have filed a notice to appeal a judge’s decision for child support.

Attorney Carolyn J. Yancey filed the appeal on Nov. 5 — a week after Judge David LeBarre ordered Sidney Dunston to pay a total of $1,370 a month in child support to his estranged wife, Toni Dunston.

The filing came a day after Dunston was re-elected.

The Oct. 28 decision included plans for Dunston to pay $870 per month — through a Social Security disability benefit — and another $500 a month in retroactive pay.

The retroactive pay was from the time the couple separated — Nov. 2, 2007 to the time that the Social Security payment went through on May 2.

During a hearing in October, both sides seemed to agree with plans for the Social Security deduction, however, Yancey objected to Toni Dunston’s request for retroactive pay.

LeBarre did order the retroactive installments after listening to testimony from Toni Dunston and reviewing Sidney Dunston’s finances.

The Nov. 5 notice does not give grounds for the appeal.

Yancey, who recently received enough votes to win the District Court Judge seat vacated by retiring Judge Charles Wilkinson, said her legal representation of Dunston likely ends with the notice of appeal.

She has until the end of this year to resolve her cases, withdraw from them, or find her clients another attorney.

“I won’t be representing Mr. Dunston in the appellate matter,” she said.

Dunston declined comment.

He beat out a challenge by Republican Stephen Phillips to retain his seat as the commissioner for District 1.

It was not clear whether the notice of appeal delayed Le-Barre’s ruling.

Attempts to reach attorney Buzzy Gardner, who represented the county’s child support section in the matter, were not successful.