Sunday, February 26, 2006

Contempt – Part 1

"A government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims."
-- Ayn Rand
Contempt Defined

The Following text is an explanation of Contempt as defined by The Honorable Carolyn K. Fulmer District Court of Appeal Second District March 1999 Revised and Updated by Judge John C. Lenderman February 2002.

Any act which is calculated to embarrass, hinder or obstruct the court in the administration of justice, or which is calculated to lessen its authority or dignity. This includes but is not limited to a willful refusal to obey any legal order, mandate or decree made or given by any judge. See Ex Parte Earman, 85 Fla. 297, 95 So. 755 (1923); section 38.23, Florida Statutes.

Courts have the authority to enforce a judgment by the exercise of their contempt powers. They are granted this contempt authority because orderly government demands that respect and compliance be given to court orders. Parisi v. Broward County, 769 So.2d 359 (Fla. 2000).
The definition of criminal contempt is not restricted to a violation of an order per se. The test in determining whether conduct constitutes criminal contempt is whether the conduct interferes with or impugns the judicial function, not whether it causes a particular judge to feel aggrieved or vexed. Thomas v. State, 752 So.2d 679 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000).

Ambiguous Orders: Ambiguous, implied or inherent provisions of a final judgment or order cannot serve as a basis for an order of contempt. Keitel v. Keitel, 716 So.2d 842 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998); Reynolds v. Reynolds, 711 So.2d 45 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998).

Erroneous Orders: Party may be held in contempt for failing to comply with erroneous order. Rubin v. State, 490 So.2d 1001 (Fla. 3d DCA) rev. denied, 501 So.2d 1283 (Fla. 1986); Robbie v. Robbie, 726 So.2d 817 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999).

Intent: Intent to disobey court order is one of the necessary elements of contempt. Power Line Components, Inc. v. Mil-Spec Components, Inc., 720 So.2d 546 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998). For example, late court appearance because of car breakdown is not indirect criminal contempt. Werner v. State, 740 So.2d 591 (Fla. 5th DCA 1999).


A contempt is either civil or criminal and either direct or indirect. The cause in which the contempt arises is not determinative. For example, a criminal contempt may occur in a civil proceeding. The distinctions are important because the type of contempt governs the procedures that must be used to institute and conduct the hearing, and the sanctions that may be used. Pugliese v. Pugliese, 347 So.2d 422 (Fla. 1977).

1. Criminal Contempt
If the purpose of the contempt proceeding is to punish for offensive conduct against the court, its judgments, orders or processes, it is criminal.

2. Civil Contempt If the purpose of the contempt proceeding is remedial or coercive, it is civil. Civil contempt is usually used to preserve and enforce rights of private parties to a suit or to compel obedience to orders made for the benefit of a party. Civil contempt may not be used to compel payment of debt not considered support. Montanez v. Montanez, 697 So.2d 184 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997); Lee v. Lee, 710 So.2d 186 (Fla. 1st DCA 1998).

3. Direct Contempt
If an act deemed contemptuous is committed in the presence of the court (i.e., detected through the judge’s sense of hearing, seeing, or smelling), it is direct.

4. Indirect (Constructive) Contempt
If an act deemed contemptuous is committed outside of the presence of the judge, it is indirect. (E.g., if the judge does not see, hear or smell the contemptuous act, it is indirect contempt even if it is committed in the courtroom where the judge is presiding.)

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Full-text state statutes and legislation on the Internet: A long-time, consistently up-to-date favorite amongst legal researchers is this guide to sources providing full-text state laws and legislation. It covers statutes, constitutions, session laws, legislation and administrative regulations. Since the guide includes some non-authoritative sources, legal professionals should verify information with another source.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Alimony Referenced As Child Support

"Of all injustice, that is the greatest which goes under the name of law; and of all sorts of tyranny the forcing of the letter of the law against the equity, is the most insupportable" -- L. Estrange

Take a few moments to check your alimony records, court records, alimony payment receipts and any others you might have to see if, for some reason, your alimony payments have been changed to read “child support” payments.

I know when I got out of jail by paying a purge amount for my contempt of court, the receipt from the jail indicated “payment for child support purge” even though my children are over the age of 40 and I no longer owe any child support. The obligation was satisfied years ago.

On court documents filed by the opposing attorney and resulting court orders, there is constant mention of child support. This is a curious phenomena and I would like to run some statistics on it, as it appears to crop up in many areas of the country.

I would like your co-operation and request that any of you (especially in Florida) who have experienced this, please send me all the documentation via fax (941-480-1395) or attached to an email to Be sure to show evidence where you owe no more child support and where any of the court documents or records that indicate you do.

If any of you had had any adverse situations in the courts as a result of this, please send me a short description of the occurrence.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Jail!! An Inmates Survival Guide

"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope."
-- Robert Francis Kennedy

This particular post is to present some material from my website promoting the booklet titled “Jail – An Inmates Survival Guide.” It was written based on my experiences when I was incarcerated on January 6,2006 for a three-week stay in the Palm Beach County (FL) detention center. My goal in writing it was to reveal more of the injustices you can expect from our judicial system and the adverse conditions to which you can be exposed in jail.

The following is taken from the webpage:

Do you want to know what to expect when you are incarcerated? Let someone who has been there give you the lowdown. It will help you prepare for the ordeal and provide an insight as to what really goes on inside the jail where individuals held in contempt of court are held..

Bill Cabana was found guilty for the civil misdemeanor "crime" of not having any assets and not being able to pay lifetime alimony from his small Social Security check. The opposing West Palm Beach attorney (named Cathy Kamber) misrepresented many facts in attempting to falsely prove that my Mother was using her retirement bank account to hide my non-existent assets.

Attorneys like her relish lying to the court in an attempt to make the man look like a scumbag. Attorney's like her are what gives a bad name to other hard-working ethical attorneys who obey the rules of the court. Her violations of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure have earned her a future review by the Florida Bar Association.

However, going to court can be a scary thing to anyone whose only exposure to incarceration has been when they watched movies depicting the goings on in some of the jails. Not knowing what is going to happen or what you will encounter can be a daunting thing to you. It was to me and that is why I wrote the booklet. It is hoped the booklet will prepare you for the experience and give you some insight as to how to endure your stay. I know it was a far cry from what I had envisioned it would be.

Your stay will not be the most comfortable one you have ever had, but there are ways to make it workable; ways to get in step with the other inmates; and ways to work with the items at your disposal. And, let me say right now that they don't give you much to work with.

Read this e-book report and find out what worked for me and how it might do the same for you. The report is based on a true story and the events that really happened. See the Sheriff's booking record.

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Jailed For Contempt Of Court

“They still don't want to admit to the world that this isn't the best and the fairest and most equal justice system. And that they are guilty of railroading people into jail. They don't want to, or never will, admit these things.” --Leonard Peltier

On January 6, 2006, at the end of a two-day trial for his Petition for Modification of Alimony, the author of this Blog, Bill Cabana, was thrown in jail for contempt of court resulting from the false allegations of opposing counsel that his mother was hiding money for him in her retirement accounts.

The real crime he committed was the crime of living below the poverty level and not having enough money income from his $766/mo. Social Security check to pay the lifetime alimony anymore. On top demanding an almost $9,000 purge amount to get out of jail, the court assess him $250/mo to be paid from his small Social Security check to pay his ex for inflated arrearages.

On the plus side, he was successful in getting all further alimony terminated. However, since the court falsely determined that his mother was hiding his money and that he allegedly owed $135,000 in arrearages, they assessed him with approx. $27,000 of the ex's attorney's fees. Now he is living on $516/mo. and with no assets. This is your court system. A court, which is suppose to operate in "equity."

The court has no qualms about stomping a person further into the ground when he is down. And people wonder why there is no respect for the courts and all the laws that have proliferated.

If you think that this war is over just because the enemy has won a few battles and unjustly incarcerated Bill for three weeks, keep checking this Blog. He has just begun to fight. Now that the little skirmishes with small-minded, gender-biased judges who make unreasoned rulings and ignore constitutional rights along with unethical attorneys have ended, the real battles are ahead and our goals of abolishing alimony are in sight.

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