Sunday, June 10, 2007

Due Process Violated in Child Support Contempt Proceeding

Habeas Corpus Granted in Child Support Contempt Case Against Disabled Lawyer - Trial Court Violated Due Process in Dismissing Inability-to-Pay Defense as Irrelevant

In Re Brownhill (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Jun. 7, 2007)(Edelman)(child support contempt

Fourteenth Court of Appeals, in an opinion written by Justice Edelman, holds that father's due process rights were violated when family court judge Lisa Millard denied him the opportunity to present evidence that he had a stroke, no income, no access to credit, and no ability to pay a judgment in excess of $40,000. Trial court would not allow obligor to attempt to establish inability-to-pay defense, characterizing it as "irrelevant." Court of Appeals declares the commitment order void and orders relator released.

Disposition: Habeas corpus relief granted
Opinion author: Justice Richard Edelman
Panel members: Justices Brock Yates, Edelman and Seymore
Appellate cause no: 14-07-00346-CV
Style: In Re: James Steven Brownhill
Trial Court: 310th District Court of Harris County (Judge Lisa A. Millard)

Terms: Houston family law cases, child support enforcement, affirmative defense of inability to pay, contempt, habeas corpus, due process, criminal contempt, inability to comply defense

No comments: