APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. HYMAN
FELDMAN, Judge, presiding.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE DIERINGER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Rehearing denied November 5, 1975.
The plaintiff, Helen Borg, initiated this action on October 10, 1972, by filing her complaint for divorce in the Circuit Court of Cook County against the defendant, Philip S. Borg, on the ground of mental cruelty. On September 13, 1973, the court ordered him to submit to a complete audit of his books and records and ordered him to take all necessary steps to submit the books and records of two companies of which he was a 50% owner, all at his own expense. When he failed to comply with the order, the plaintiff filed a petition for a rule to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court. On January 16, 1974, the court entered an order finding him in contempt of court and sentenced him to 10 days in the Cook County Jail or until he purged himself of contempt. On February 14, 1974, the court denied the defendant's motion to reconsider the contempt order.
The defendant appeals from the order of January 16, 1974, in which he was found to be in contempt of court, and from the order of February 14, 1974, in which the court denied his motion to reconsider the contempt order. Subsequently, on July 25, 1974, the court ordered the defendant to pay $3500 to defend the appeal, and the defendant also appeals from that order. Both appeals have been consolidated.
The issues on appeal are whether the trial court abused its discretion in finding that the defendant was in contempt of court for failure to obey a previous discovery order, and whether the award of $3500 in attorneys fees was improper.
The parties were married on June 20, 1942, and cohabited together as husband and wife until either March or December of 1970. They continued to live under the same roof until August 22, 1972. Two children were born of the marriage, a boy who died in October of 1971, at the age of 25, and a girl who was born in April of 1950.
The plaintiff filed her complaint for divorce on October 10, 1972. The defendant filed his answer and filed a two-count counter-complaint for divorce on the ground of mental cruelty and for partition of the marital residence.
On December 12, 1973, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint changing her cause of action to separate maintenance in the first count; alienation of affections against another defendant in the second count; injunctive relief against both defendants in the third count; and for imposition of a constructive trust in the fourth count. The defendant answered Count I, moved to strike and dismiss Count III, and moved to dismiss Count IV.
On May 15, 1973, the plaintiff filed a Petition for Audit and Auditor's Fees covering all the books and records of Borval Packaging Company and Aetna Screw Products Company, a partnership and corporation respectively, in which the defendant held 50% interests. In his reply to the petition the defendant stated the plaintiff already had a full, complete, and accurate picture of the financial condition of the partnership and corporation, as well as his personal financial condition, because of the extensive records he had already provided. He asserted that the demands of the plaintiff were solely for the purpose of harassment.
In her answer to his reply, the plaintiff denied her demands were for purposes of harassment and stated they were made solely for the purpose of giving her sufficient discovery to fairly present her case at trial.
On September 13, 1973, the court ordered:
(1) That the defendant, Philip Borg, submit to a complete audit of his books and financial records by accountant Bernard Davis, and submit to him any and all supporting documentation to complete said audit.
(2) That the defendant, Philip Borg, take all necessary steps to submit the books and financial records of Borval Packaging Company, and Aetna Screw Products Company to Bernard Davis C.P.A. for a complete audit, together with any supporting documentation necessary to complete said audit.
(3) That defendant pay the costs of the audits ordered herein.
The defendant refused to submit the books and records, and on October 2, 1973, the plaintiff filed a petition for a rule to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court for ...