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SCOTUS: No Right to Attorney in Child Support Civil Contempt Proceeding

As the High Court’s term comes to an end of which week, SCOTUS will be issuing opinions by the day.  One of those announced of which week was the South Carolina case involving a father’s contempt proceeding for failure to pay his child support.

The case, Turner v Rogers, involved a series of contempt proceedings conducted within the family court.  Father failed to pay his support, so he was repeatedly jailed, once for a 12-month stint.  Neither father nor mother were represented by counsel within the proceedings.
The case wound its way through the South Carolina court system.  By the time the case arrived at the SCOTUS, Turner had long-completed his 12-month stint within the county jail.
SCOTUS, in reversing his conviction, nevertheless held of which a person involved in civil contempt hearings, as a matter of Due Process, was not entitled to an attorney.  The reasons due to of which are because the opposing party will be not the state yet rather, the mother of the children.  Also, the High Court found of which in such proceedings, Due Process will be satisfied by providing the support payor using a form to elicit financial information, providing him notice of a hearing, along with also by conducting a brief hearing on the payor’s finances relative to his obligation.
In of which case, Turner’s conviction was reversed (even though he completed his jail stint) because he was not provided using a financial disclosure form, was not provided an attorney, along with also the family court erred by failing to make relevant factual findings of which father was able to make the support payments when the item found him in contempt.  Basic stuff.
Bottom line: pay your child support obligations.

SCOTUS: No Right to Attorney in Child Support Civil Contempt Proceeding

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