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Contempt of Court hearing

Discussion in 'Alimony & Spousal Support' started by confused71, Apr 16, 2011.

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  1. confused71

    confused71 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm writing in regards to a friend who isn't computer savvy and is having a nervous breakdown. He was apparently served today with papers that state "Order to show cause for contempt" and has a court date set for June 29th. Here is his story:

    My friend Jeff gave up his parental rights over 11yrs ago but is apparently still responsible for arrearages and apparently his monthly payment was set at $25.00. After his ex wifes new husband legally adopted jeff's daughter, jeff thought that he was no longer financially responsible and therefore didn't know he needed to pay on the arreareges which apparently is a court order.

    Fast foward to Dec. 31st 2007 was his last day of employment with the company he was working for and there after he began recieving unemployment benefits. Midway through 2008 he started to go to the local community college and take the prerequisite classes to get into the nursing program at the college. he was accepted in December of 2009 and began the 18th month program Jan. 19th. 2010. He has been recieving unemployment benefits off and on through out this time and will be graduating from the program this coming may and will eventually be working again witha great paying job. Had he known he that he was responsible for the $25.00 payment he would have made arrangements to pay the $25 even though he wasn't working. He is currently only a total of $425 of past due payments that go back as far as Jan. 2008.

    My question for you from him is what is the best thing for him to do to fix this mess he's in right now. His major concern is being charged with something or put on probabtion or doing jail time. Any of the 3 will prevent him from getting his nursing license. Is there a way to contact the child support office and get back in compliance and have the court date canceled because he's back in compliance.

    Thank you for any comments and I will be sure to post jeff's response.

    Sincerely

    Confused71
     
  2. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    He needs to pay up. He can try to contact child support and arrange a payment plan before that but ultimately he does owe the arrears.

    Jeff also needs to be realistic - they're not going to buy the story that he thought the arrears would go away, or that this is the first time he's been made aware that he owes the arrears.

    Even if that's the truth.
     
  3. confused71

    confused71 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello Proserpina,

    Thank you for the response. I don't think I explained correctly in my post but the situation with the arrears is that he knew he was responsible even after he gave up his parental rights, it's when the new husband legally adopted jeff's daughter is when he thought he wasn't financially responsible for the $25 payment anymore. Jeff had been paying child support for another daughter from his most recent marriage and his former employer and unemployment dept. had been deducting the child support payments plus additional money for arrearages in regards to his most recent daughter. He didnt know that part of those arrears deductions were also going to his first daughter we have been talking about.. (Complicated situation I know!!!)

    I'm going to help him on monday to contact the child support office and see what we can do to clear this issue up. I was just wondering if this issue can be fixed and have him avoid going to court on the 29th of june if we can get him back in compliance. As I mentioned earlier, in order for him to be up to date with his payments it will be a total of $425 to have him current and he will continue to pay the $25 there after. I was wondering if this is something that can be worked out with the child support services directly and have the court hearing canceled due to jeff becoming current in his payments again.

    Any replies are greatly apprecaited!

    Confused71
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Tell, your "ahem" BUDDY, not to worry; just relax, and don't be in a hurry.


    All he has to do is show up in court with $500 (in cash US money, the real stuff, nothing funny), when he does that the Judge won't holler.

    If he pays what he owes, he'll walk right back out through them court room doors!

    So he need only bide his time, I'm doing very good with this rhyme.


    In two short months this all will be over, he can enjoy that classic cream from Dover.

    Seriously now, I'm at the end, relay this good news to your friend.
     
  5. confused71

    confused71 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Army Judge:

    My ahem "Buddy" says thank you for your response!..But in all seriousness I'm on the phone with him now over speaker and typing what he's telling me as we speak. Jeff is my classmate and we are getting ready to apply for our state board testing and we need to submit any convictions, traffic violations over $500 etc etc and he's worried sick that this contempt of court issue will hurt him or cause problems for him.

    This is what my advice was to him and correct me if I'm wrong. I told him to go down to the CS office and talk to his case worker and get back in compliance and if he can't afford the full amount $425 then to atleast pay $50 or $100 each month until he does get caught up in his payments and see if this will help him avoid any court hearing. I've heard of this happening in another case where a gentleman was behind in payments and was scheduled for a hearing to see why he hadn't paid and instead he went down to the CS office and got his payments current and the court date was canceled. I'm not 100% sure the story was true but it's what I heard and I'm only trying to find some vaild information for my buddy jeff.

    Thank you again Army Judge

    Confused71


    PS. Nice rhyme by the way :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  6. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    I can pretty much guarantee that $100 won't do it.

    Unless he can pay off the full amount by June.

    But really - he can't get $500 together by the end of June?
     
  7. confused71

    confused71 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Proserpina,

    What I'm thinking is maybe I can get the class together and take up a fund to help Jeff out and I'm sure his family will help. Jeff isn't working becasue he's been attending this nursing program which is a 5 day a week program and 8am to 3pm schedule mon-fri and studying at night and weeknds. It's a very intense program, not your ordinary college classes. In other words the guy is flat broke and barely makes it by financially and this program we are in will hopefully help him and his family out.

    Soooo, I'm sure between family and friends we can help him out and scrounge up the $500 if this will help him to avoid court. I've never seen someone so terrified of court..LOL.. I tried to tell him to stay calm that it will all work out!!!!.. But all in all do you think this is something he can clear up prior to the court date and avoid having to appear in court? Say we gather the money up this week and pay the $425 this coming week! I wonder if the CS services office will discontinue the court date and get jeff back in compliance and avoid any contempt of court charge. If you really think about it $25 a month is nothing and Jeff can definitely make that payment even if he has to collect aluminum cans and glass bottles for recycling.... :)

    Whats your thoughts?

    Thanks again

    Confused71
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Confused, your "ahem", friend has nothing to worry about.

    This is a civil matter.

    It will not affect his ability to receive hisicebsjbg credential.

    In fact, it isn't necessary to report it.

    He's stressing over nothing, unless he's left something out!!!

    If things are as he's told you, this is a non-event.
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Confused, I just reviewed California's licensing requirements. You are only mandated to self report criminal convictions. As I said, this is neither.
     
  10. confused71

    confused71 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for you response Army Judge,


    OK, I wasn't sure if it was a civil or criminal matter, according to his paper work he's tellin me that in bold letters it states something along these lines "A contempt proceeding is criminal in nature. If the court finds you in contempt, the possible penalities include jail sentence, community service and fine."

    I think this is what's got him curled up in a fetal position in his room :) Is this standard text for a "order to show cause and affidavit for contempt" form? I told him just now what you said Army Judge but I dont think it worked, I told him to take two spoons of nyquil and call us in the morning... All jokes aside though, I agree with you Army Judge! I keep telling him not to worry that we'll clear it up on monday!

    Thanks again Army Judge!


    PS. I just read your added post about the licensing requirements. I know that a person who is on probation is on probation for any reason can revoke, delay or prevent a person from obtaining their nursing license. Isn't probation a possibility?

    Thanks again!

    Confused71
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  11. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    AJ (and OP), CA can consider non-payment of support a criminal matter.

    It happens.

    (Maybe CC will stop by this thread if she still reads the board - I'm not sure)
     
  12. confused71

    confused71 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Proserpina,

    I will not relay that info to Jeff, :) It's to late to get into a suicide intervention :)!!! Seriously though, Jeff is worried sick and I don't blame him, he's spent the last 18months in an intense program, about to graduate next month and then this happens! So I thank you all for any responses and advice on what he should do!!!

    Thanks again!

    Confused71
     
  13. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Yes, in Cali they have a twisted way of arriving at that conclusion. Most judges only invoke it as a final and ultimate remedy.






    A contempt proceeding can result in a person's incerceration, but that doesn't make any of this automatically criminal.




    We don't send people to prison in this country because they refuse to pay their debts. That's one of the reasons for the rebellion against Old King George and his Redcoats.





    This California attorney provides an informative analysis of criminal contempt vs. civil contempt.



    http://www.kinseylaw.com/clientserv2/famlawservices/enforce/contempt/contempt.html



    http://www.kinseylaw.com/clientserv2/famlawservices/enforce/contempt/contempt.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  14. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    From the site AJ provided:



    Hence jail IS a possibility.

    And it happens more often than many people realize.
     
  15. confused71

    confused71 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Proserpina, Army Judge,


    Thanks for the responses! Considering Jeff's case where he is obligate by the court to pay $25.00 a month. If he has the means to do this and is caught up with his payments prior to going to court,In my honest opinion I really don't see why a judge would put Jeff in jail over $25 if he is NOW in compliance with the court order and this is his first time ever facing a judge in a non-payment of child support. This is why first thing monday morning we are going to head down to the CS office and see what we can find out or possibly do to remedy the situation and avoid court all together. My hope for Jeff is that we can gather the funds to get him upt to date by the end of next week and hopefully this will allow the CS office to cancel the court date.

    Any other thoughts or advice is appreciated and thank you both again for the responses!


    Confused71
     
  16. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    That's a good idea.
    If he pays up, he won't get locked up.
    He's gottta keep things current going forward.
    After all, it's only $25!!!

     
  17. confused71

    confused71 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for all the Advice AJ!!! Much appreciated!!!

    I will let you know what we find out on monday!......


    Thanks again!

    Confused71
     
  18. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Jeff can also find his driver's license suspended. That could put school and employment beyond reach.
     
  19. confused71

    confused71 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    CdwJava,

    Jeff's drivers license is suspended and I can vouge for that because Ihave to pick his butt up ever morning for school!!!... :)

    I'm fully aware of his situation and I've been helping him gather the requested information to submit our applications to the Ca. state board of nursing. We went down to the DMV and both paid to get our DMV print out and he was told at the window that he had a child support case in another county (the CS case we have been referring to in this thread) So when we got to his home I had him call the CS office in our county and they told him that he needed to begin paying the $25 for the arrearages and he was making arrangements to do so and then 2 days later he gets served papers... The papers he was served is stamped with a March 8th filing date so I'm thinking they were having trouble locating him until he called in to the CS office to make arrangements to start paying on the other CS case he has out of county. The main purpose for calling the CS office was for him to find out what he needs to do to get his license back and he was in the process of getting the money together to pay and to have his license reinstated when a few days later he gets served with papers for contempt!!!!.

    We need to get this cleared up for him because the state board requires the whole class be in compliant with the information they need, if one student is missing information or has issues with drivers license, or is missing documentation and explanation of convictions, it holds up the remainder of the class!!!... It's not fair but thats why I'm helping Jeff out as much as I can so we can avoid any hold ups...

    Thanks for your input CdwJava!

    Confused71
     
  20. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    He had better find some way to make good on his debt or, as mentioned, he could find himself in the clink. If a warrant is issued, he will have trouble getting a job, obtaining government assistant (welfare, student loans, housing loans, etc.), and could fnd himself hooked up at a very inconvenient time.

    Maybe he should consider getting a credit card with a low limit - just enough to allow him to pay what he owes and get out from underneath the debt.
     

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