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Vincent v. Rickman

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

March 10, 2015

DAVID H. VINCENT, APPELLANT
v.
JOAN HANKINS RICKMAN, APPELLEE

Page 246

COURT fro WHICH APPEALED: DESOTO COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/25/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. PERCY L. LYNCHARD JR. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: FOUND VINCENT IN CONTEMPT AND ORDERED PAYMENT OF RICKMAN'S ATTORNEY'S FEES.

DAVID H. VINCENT, APPELLANT, Pro se.

FOR APPELLEE: A.E. (RUSTY) HARLOW JR..

BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., CARLTON AND JAMES, JJ. LEE, C.J., GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR. IRVING, P.J., AND JAMES, J., CONCUR IN PART AND DISSENT IN PART WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.

OPINION

Page 247

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - DOMESTIC RELATIONS

CARLTON, J.

[¶1] The DeSoto County Chancery Court entered two orders finding David Vincent in contempt for failing to make child-support payments and attorney's fee payments ordered by the chancellor. David now appeals, claiming that the chancellor erred in finding David in contempt and in awarding attorney's fees to David's ex-wife, Joan Vincent. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

[¶2] David and Joan married on August 18, 1988. The marriage produced three children. On February 24, 2007, the couple divorced, and David and Joan were each awarded joint legal and physical custody of the children, with David to pay child support.

[¶3] Joan filed a petition for citation of contempt against David on July 25, 2012, for failure to make a timely child-support payments. David filed a counter-motion and asserted the defense of the " Doctrine

Page 248

of Unclean Hands," claiming that Joan was also in contempt for failing heed the trial court's April 24, 2012 order to provide David with health-insurance cards within thirty days. On September 4, 2012, the trial court entered an order finding David in contempt and ordering him to pay attorney's fees of $1,999.50. David filed a motion for reconsideration on September 7, 2012.

[¶4] On October 5, 2012, Joan filed another petition for citation of contempt, claiming David was again delinquent on paying child support. David and Joan entered an agreed order of continuance on November 14, 2012, both agreeing that David was in arrears in making the child-support payments and attorney's fees payments as ordered in the previous petition. The parties agreed to an additional attorney's fees payment of $1,500 for the necessity of filing the new petition for contempt. The trial court then continued the case to allow David to bring his payments current.

[¶5] After a trial held on June 17, 2013, the trial court found David in contempt of a court order for failing to pay the ordered child-support award to Joan. The chancellor found David's child-support payments current at the time of the hearing; however, the chancellor found that David failed to pay in full the attorney's fees ordered on November 14, 2012. The chancellor ordered attorney's fees of $3,125.78 for the legal work performed in between the previous hearing and the hearing conducted on June 17. The chancellor also ordered David to be incarcerated until he paid the outstanding attorney's fees. The record reflects that the chancellor also issued a second ...


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