Media seldom reports the number of Family Court litigants who find themselves in jail, minus appropriate hearings, during a Contempt of a civil court order. See the Bailiff section which explains why this occurs.Also check the Supreme Court “Child Support” section. Texas:
The judge in the Matter of Richard
“The trial court asked Richard if he had an attorney. Richard replied that he did not have an attorney. The trial court admonished Richard as follows: “You’re entitled to an attorney. And if you’re too poor to afford an attorney, I decide that you’re indigent and have one appointed to represent you.” The trial court stated that they were going to take a break and informed the parties that the motion for enforcement would be taken up before a motion for protective order that was also before the trial court. Without inquiring about Richard’s ability to employ counsel, the trial court instructed Richard to sit down and instructed the bailiff not to let Richard leave.After a brief recess, the movant testified that Richard had been ordered to pay $600 per month in child support and $300 per month on an arrearage judgment, but that Richard had not paid from July 1, 2010 through April 1, 2011. The trial court placed Richard under oath. Richard admitted that “I have fallen far behind on my child support payments[,] for the last year and a half or more I’ve been either unemployed or underemployed.” Richard stated that “It’s not an act of defiance. I’m not standing here trying to prove a point to anybody. I just simply can’t afford it. And then to be put further and further back with all these court proceedings. That’s why I’m here representing myself, Your Honor. I cannot simply afford even that.” (Emphasis added).”
Ultimately Richard was taken into custody into custody and jailed.
Bailiff education is needed.
Colorado State University professor Catherine Keske
might be going to jail.
Howard Veal: 23 kids by 14 women.
While annoyed at the time, a judge would thank a bailiff from stepping in at the right time and save the judge from later troubles. Had the California bailiff acted appropriately in the case below, San Diego Superior Court Judge,
Lisa Schall could have avoided a public smack-down by theCalifornia Commission on Judicial Performace, which wrote in part:
“In Ms. Slivka’s absence, without citing her for contempt or having her returned to the courtroom, Judge Guy-Schall found her in contempt and sentenced her to five days in jail. The order issued by Judge Guy-Schall stated Ms. Slivka was in direct contempt and was to serve five actual days in jail. With respect to the facts underlying the finding of contempt, the order stated, “full order and findings are set forth in the reporter’s transcript that is the order [sic] this date.” Ms. Slivka was taken into custody outside the courtroom and remained in custody for five days. Judge Guy-Schall’s actions constituted the power of contempt. By failing to return Ms. Slivka to court to inform her that she was in contempt, failing to give her a chance to respond to the contempt order, and finding her in contempt in her absence, Judge Guy-Schall failed to follow the required procedure for holding an individual in contempt.”
Questions not answered?
1. Why did the bailiff not uphold the Constitution?
2. Did the court reporter’s transcript reflect the proceedings accurately?
We appreciate that the Commission on Judicial Performance reacted positively to the woman illegally jailed by Judge Schall.
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