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Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1507
Experience:  30+ years family law experience. QDROs, UIFSA, UCCJEA expertise.
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arkansas law regarding contempt of court and parental alie

Customer Question

arkansas law regarding contempt of court and parental alienation
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lawrence D. Gorin replied 5 years ago.
ANSWER:
     The Arkansas law regarding contempt of court is found in the Arkansas Code at §
16-10-108.   Here’s what it says:

(a) Every court of record shall have power to punish, as for criminal contempt, persons guilty of the following acts and no others:
     (1) Disorderly, contemptuous, or insolent behavior committed during the court's sitting, in its immediate view and presence, and directly tending to interrupt its proceedings or to impair the respect due to its authority;
     (2) Any breach of the peace, noise, or disturbance directly tending to interrupt its proceedings;
     (3) Willful disobedience of any process or order lawfully issued or made by it;
     (4) Resistance, willfully offered, by any person to the lawful order or process of the court; and
     (5) The contumacious and unlawful refusal of any person to be sworn as a witness and when so sworn a similar refusal to answer any legal and proper interrogatory.

(b) (1) Punishment for contempt is a Class C misdemeanor.
     (2) A court shall always have power to imprison until its adjournment.
     (3) When any person is committed to prison for the nonpayment of any such fine, he or she shall be discharged at the expiration of thirty (30) days.

(c) Contempts committed in the immediate view and presence of the court may be punished summarily. In other cases, the party charged shall be notified of the accusation and shall have a reasonable time to make his or her defense.

(d) (1) Whenever any person is committed for a contempt under the provisions of this section, the substance of his or her offense shall be set forth in the order or warrant of commitment.
     (2) Nothing in subdivision (d)(1) of this section shall be construed to extend to any proceedings against parties or officers, as for contempt, for the purpose of enforcing any civil right or remedy.

(e) A person punished for contempt under subsections (a)-(d) of this section shall, notwithstanding, be liable to an indictment for the contempt if the contempt is an indictable offense, but the court before which a conviction may be had on such an indictment shall, in forming its sentence, take into consideration the punishment previously inflicted.

Online at:
http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/NXT/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&vid=blr:code
(Do a “Code Search” for 16-10-108)

     There is no specific Arkansas law or statute dealing with parental alienation. However, if the specific actions and conduct of a parent that arguably result in the alienation are actions and conduct that are specifically prohibited by the terms of the court’s order or judgment (or the parents’ parenting time agreement), the “wrongdoer” may be subject to the imposition of sanctions for contempt of court.

A very good discussion of this issue may be found online at:
http://64.233.183.132/search?q=cache:E5AcYE83c9kJ:www.pas-konferenz.de/e/dok/lorandosbruch_e.doc+arkansas+parental+alienation+law&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us

NOTE: I realize that this answer may not be entirely to your liking, and I regret being the bearer of information that you really don’t want to hear. But it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand.

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    If your question has been satisfactorily answered, please acknowledge by clicking the green “ACCEPT” button in the upper right hand corner of this window. And if my answer was exceptionally helpful, a “bonus” payment would be most appreciated. Lastly, PLEASE add a few words of comment in the FEEDBACK space. It lets me (and others) know how I’m doing. And I thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for reply - Contempt code is helpful -

I understand that Dr. Gardner's research and assessment of parental alienation is and has been controversial to a great degree.

I also understand that in april of 2008, 16 states including Arkansas, had agreed to a day of awareness regarding parental alienation, and was just curious if anything had since been put in place to support it... it appears that the behaviors are considerable, while the "label" may or not be.

thank you very much for your prompt reply.

Expert:  Lawrence D. Gorin replied 5 years ago.
     I am most sympathetic to your situation, and share the frustration (as I have been doing with many, many clients --- mostly noncustodial fathers --- that I have represented over the past 30 years of practicing family law).

     These are heart-wrenching situations for dads, and extremely frustrating for their lawyers (such as me) who are unable to help the client due to the lack of statutes and laws designed to deal with problem. Lawyers and judges are not lawmakers. We can only deal with the laws enacted by the Legislature, and in most states the legislatures have simply declined to deal with this issue. And such is the case Arkansas, as it is in Oregon.   Most frustrating. You end-up, as a practical matter, being portrayed to your child as being a despicable person (if not worse), to the point where the child simply refuses to have anything to do with you. And all the while mom happily goes to the bank each month with the child support check.


As I said earlier, I realize that my answer to your inquiry may not be entirely to your liking, and I regret being the bearer of information that you really don’t want to hear. But it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand. And I really do mean that.

Hopefully, you will be able to find an Arkansas lawyer who is a “dad’s advocate” and who fully understands the problem. It will be worth your effort to do so.
Lawrence D. Gorin, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1507
Experience: 30+ years family law experience. QDROs, UIFSA, UCCJEA expertise.
Lawrence D. Gorin and 10 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks so much for your help ~ appreciate your quick response/reply, and the sincerity and integrity as well...impressed with the service.

 

and by the way... i'm the mom! :)

 

 

Expert:  Lawrence D. Gorin replied 5 years ago.
FURTHER RESPONSE

OH! Youi're the mom! Well, my answer remains the same. Perhaps I should have referred to "noncustodial parents" rather than "noncustodial dads." Obviously, PAS comes into play regardless of gender.

In any event, I wish you well, and your child as well. The real victims in these cases are not the parents but rather the child.

PS: Please don't forget to add a few words of Feedback in the Feedback section. It would be most appreciated.
Thanks.
L.D. Gorin

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