COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY EX REL S.B. APPELLEE
FROM KENTON CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER J. MEHLING,
JUDGE ACTION NO. 08-J-01537
FOR APPELLANT: Steven J. Buck Frankfort, Kentucky
FOR APPELLEE: Katherine McLindon Covington, Kentucky
BEFORE: ACREE, KRAMER, AND L. THOMPSON, JUDGES.
appeals the Kenton Circuit Court's order partially
revoking the conditional discharge of his contempt sentence.
He argues the family court erred by denying his counsel's
request to continue the final hearing, by activating the
revocation in C.C.'s absence, by not setting an amount by
which C.C. could purge his contempt, and by failing to
determine C.C.'s failure to pay support was willful.
Having considered the record and arguments of counsel, we
23, 2010, the circuit court ordered C.C. to pay $357.14 per
month in child support for his two children, along with a $40
per month payment toward arrears. Within a few years, C.C.
was $4, 925.98 in arrears. In 2016, the Commonwealth filed a
motion for C.C. to show cause why he should not be held in
contempt for failing to comply with the family court's
support order. The court heard the motion on November 16,
2016. C.C. was present for the hearing.
hearing, the family court told C.C. he was charged with
contempt of court and further told him:
The allegations are you were ordered to pay child support in
the amount of $357.14 a month effective 5/12/10; you were
ordered to pay $40 a month for arrearage; you're in
arrears over $4900 as of the end of August; that you're
not paying per the court order and you've not paid since
May ; that you had the ability to comply but have
failed to do so; you face up to 180 days in jail so you
have a right to an attorney.
(Video Transcript (VT) 11/16/16; 3:13:04) (emphasis added).
The court appointed counsel to represent C.C. The court then
asked for a proposal from the Commonwealth for sanctions
should the court find, after a hearing, that there was
sufficient proof to support the allegations. The
Commonwealth's proposal was a sentence of 180 days
conditionally discharged for two years provided C.C.
thereafter paid child support as ordered. The court then
further informed C.C. that "I can enter a denial, set
the case for a trial, a hearing, later; however, you [and
your appointed counsel] should talk about [the
Commonwealth's proposal] because it might be a good idea
to take it. You two decide what you want to do." The
court then addressed other cases before it that day while
C.C. and his counsel conferred.
was no need to set a date to conduct a hearing. After C.C.
consulted with appointed counsel, and consistent with the
recommendation of the Commonwealth, C.C. was ready to plead:
Court: Okay, do you admit you're in contempt ...