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If I pay all arrears before a contempt trial, can I still be held in contempt? The attorney will not accept my full payment

San Diego, CA |

I have been arraigned and have trial wednesday. I have offered several times to pay all arrears plus all interest, but the opposing attorney will not accept payment unless I take unrealted motions off calendar. I have a 473 motion to vacate an award of attorney fees, for an error, because court ruled I had not filed a I&E even though I had and I have a file stamped copy to prove it. Attorney also concealed client's assets which are required to be disclosed for an award of attorney fees, and I have her bank statement via subponea to prove it... She was concealing substantial assets....

My plan is to bring a cashiers check to court.... Can I still be found guilty??

Attorney Answers 2


If you have offered to make payment in full the judge will not be kindly disposed that the opposing attorney is making work in this fashion. Document your attempts to pay.

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Without having a copy of the citation and without knowing why you did not pay at the time that they claim you do not pay, it is difficult to assess your situation. You should have an attorney represent you in the proceeding because these types of trials are tricky and can be complex. They are tricky because they are what we call quasi criminal. Further, the other party bears the burden of proving various things, including, but not limited to: (1) that the court order requiring you to pay the support is clear and unambiguous as to the amount due, where it has to be paid and when it has to be paid; (2) that the order was served on you and you knew about it and understood the order required payments be made as ordered; (3) That you knowingly and intentionally failed to make the payments as ordered. If they fail in proving any one of those elements the court would have to find you innocent of the charges stated in the citation. Defenses to the citation could include that you did not have the money to pay it, that you did not intentionally fail to pay it, the ex orally misled you into believing that it could be paid late, etc. Payment now is not going to help you be found not guilty of contempt of a court order which required you to pay support a year ago. The offense was committed, if committed at all, when you intentionally failed to pay as alleged by them. Nothing you do today is going to change that fact. But, they have to prove each and every element of the citation for every allegation made for nonpayment. It is not as easy as it may sound. They will have to come up with competent evidence, which could be the testimony of the supported spouse. Please do yourself a favor and obtain legal counsel to handle this important matter. If you have found this helpful and/or the best answer, please let the attorney know by checking the appropriate box below. It will be greatly appreciated. Thank you and best of luck to you.

Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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