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In Florida, can you move for contempt of court on an order

that was made before the...
In Florida, can you move for contempt of court on an order that was made before the final order in the case? There was an order of the court a couple years ago in a that case that was violated by the other party that is still having a detrimental affect on the other party. My attorney at the time did not file for contempt when that order was violated. Can I go back and seek contempt and enforcement now even though the case ended with a final order?
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Answered in 33 minutes by:
10/30/2013
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 119,468
Experience: Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Was the order overruled by the issuing of the new final order or was the order incorporated into the final order at least by reference, since a new final order can supersede all final orders?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Absolutely nothing about that issue was incorporated in the final order. Here's the precise issue: The parties (mother vs. father) was ordered to jointly choose a therapist for their child. The mother broke that order, unilaterally and exclusively hired a therapist who she indoctrinated with false allegations and took the influenced child to that therapist. The bias therapist has been ever since in further cases by the mother to keep the father from much time with his child. Again, in that original case, contempt was never handled and the "issue" of the therapist was not addressed in the final order in the (injunction) case.


 


So, can the father still go back and seek contempt of court in that closed case to get it on record that the mother did in fact violate a court order to get the therapist she is using now in another (third) related family law case? (one element to through at you is that in the second related case, a judge did allow the therapist to be involved--but I don't see how that negates the black and white issue that in the first case there was a violated court order ny the hiring of the therapist)

Thank you for your response.

If the mother is violating an order still that has never been superseded by the final order, then you can go back and file a contempt over the other order. The problem you have is the timeliness of the filing and the other party can argue and the court can find that because you did not file the contempt motion when she engaged this therapist you tacitly agreed, so you are going to have to have an argument to overcome that claim as to why you did not file for contempt at that time, which can be that she is now on the third therapist that you do not agree to and you were never given the opportunity to decide on a therapist.



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This is NOT the practice of law nor is it legal advice to you, it is merely educational information for you to use to seek out a licensed attorney in your state to get actual legal advice from them. Please use sites such as http://www.martindale.com or http://www.lexmundi.com or http://www.hg.org to find a local attorney to get actual legal advice in all matters.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


I'm not saying the mother is on a third therapist. I said we are on our third, separate case. The mother has is still using the same therapist that she violated an order to hire in the first case. My attorney in the first case only tried to address the issue of the unilateral hiring of the therapist in the first case by asking the court to appoint a new therapist but that did not happen. We just never filed for contempt because that attorney was being to passive. So, I do have proof I did not agree to the unilateral hiring but a motion for contempt and enforcement was never filed.


 


So, although the case is closed, can I go back and file a motion for contempt in that case on that specific issue? Is there any case law that can support that? I usually ask "Socrateaser" questions and he provides case law for me.

Thank you for your clarification.

This is a more specific issue, because a final order typically supersedes all other orders in a case. The issue is whether or not she violated the valid court order, if the order was still valid in that the final order did not supersede it, then her violation is a contempt and you have to still explain why you waited so long to raise the issue. This is one there really isn't case law on though a it is just a contempt case and there are many contempt cases, but this is very fact specific.

The FL courts say about contempt of court, “For a person to be held in contempt of a court order, the language of the order must be clear and precise, and the behavior of the person must clearly violate the order.” Paul v. Johnson, 604 So.2d 883, 884 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992) (footnotes omitted); see also Bertuglia v. Roe, 42 So.3d 285, 285 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010) (“A party may not be held in contempt for violation of an order which is not clear and definite enough to provide notice of what the party is required to do in order to comply with the court's decree.” (citing Marcus v. Marcus, 902 So.2d 259 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005); Kranis v. Kranis, 313 So.2d 135 (Fla. 3d DCA 1975))

Thus, if the order is clear and the final order did not supersede all previous orders you can file for contempt.

I truly aim to please you as a customer, but please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Kindly remember the ONLY WAY experts receive any credit at all for spending time with customers is if you click on OK, GOOD or EXCELLENT SERVICE even though you have made a deposit or are a subscription customer. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE RATING FOR THE EXPERT TO RECEIVE ANY CREDIT, if not the site keeps your money on deposit.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

This is NOT the practice of law nor is it legal advice to you, it is merely educational information for you to use to seek out a licensed attorney in your state to get actual legal advice from them. Please use sites such as http://www.martindale.com or http://www.lexmundi.com or http://www.hg.org to find a local attorney to get actual legal advice in all matters.
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