Monday, May 18, 2009

Fourth DCA Reverses Contempt Order

In Anderson v. Department of Revenue (4D08-2485) the Fourth DCA reversed the trial court's order holding appellant in contempt. The court stated:
In Marcellus v. Voltaire, 649 So. 2d 944 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995) this court determined that the trial court committed reversible error when it entered an order finding that the father was in arrears in payment of his child support obligation, had the present ability to pay, and would be incarcerated if he failed to pay and shortly thereafter entered another order finding father indigent for purposes of appellate filing fees and costs. Id. at 944. We held that the finding of indigent status affirmatively established father’s inability to pay the purge. Id. (quoting Bowen v. Bowen, 471 So. 2d 1274, 1279 (Fla.1985)). Similarly, in the present case, the trial court erred in holding Anderson in contempt and shortly thereafter finding him indigent for purposes of appeal. As evidenced by the court’s finding of indigence, Anderson did not have the present ability to pay the purge.


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