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In re Marriage of Ray

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

March 3, 2014

In re: MARRIAGE OF KARI L. RAY, Petitioner-Appellee, and DAVID J. RAY, Respondent-Appellant

Appeal from Circuit Court of Jersey County. No. 11D52. Honorable Joshua A. Meyer, Judge Presiding.

SYLLABUS

In postjudgment dissolution proceedings arising from respondent's failure to pay maintenance and child support, petitioner established a prima facie case of contempt by presenting evidence of respondent's noncompliance with the trial court's order, and when respondent raised his fifth-amendment privilege against self-incrimination rather than presenting evidence as to why he should not be held in contempt, the trial court properly entered an order holding respondent in contempt, since respondent could not be allowed to use the privilege to avoid producing evidence that he should not be held in contempt and to shift the burden of proof back to petitioner.

Thomas G. Maag (argued), of Maag Law Firm, LLC, of Wood River, for appellant.

John C. Webster (argued), of Williamson, Webster, Falb & Glisson, of Alton, for appellee.

JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Turner and Steigmann concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 349

KNECHT, JUSTICE.

[¶1] In August 2011, petitioner, Kari L. Ray, filed a petition for dissolution of marriage and a verified petition for temporary custody, maintenance, child support, and attorney fees. In December 2011, the trial court entered an agreed order compelling respondent, David J. Ray, to pay, inter alia, child support in the amount of $2,000 per month. In December 2012, respondent ceased making support payments per the court's order, which prompted petitioner to file a petition for rule to show cause to issue for indirect civil contempt and attorney fees. After a March 2013 hearing, the trial court held respondent in indirect civil contempt and set the purge amount at $1,000 cash. On appeal, respondent asserts the court improperly held him in contempt where respondent invoked his fifth-amendment privilege against self-incrimination during the contempt proceedings. We affirm.

[¶2] I. BACKGROUND

[¶3] On August 22, 2011, petitioner filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. The same day, petitioner filed a verified petition for temporary custody, maintenance, child support, and attorney fees. In December 2011, the trial court entered an agreed order for temporary relief. The agreed order, in pertinent part, required respondent to pay $4,000 per month to petitioner. Of the $4,000 sum, the parties agreed $2,000 would be deemed maintenance and $2,000 would be deemed child support.

[¶4] Respondent complied with this order until December 2012, when payments stopped. In January 2013, petitioner filed a petition for rule to show cause and attorney fees. The petition alleged respondent had failed to timely pay his temporary support and maintenance obligations, including December 2012 and each month thereafter, despite petitioner's repeated demands for payment. The petition requested the trial court enter an order requiring respondent to show cause why he should not be held in indirect civil contempt of court for failure to meet his payment obligation.

[¶5] Following a February 7, 2013, hearing on petitioner's petition for rule to show cause, the trial court ordered respondent to show cause why he should not be held in contempt for failure to comply with the court's December 2011 order for temporary relief. The court set the return on the rule for March 20, 2013. Petitioner thereafter filed an amended petition for rule to show cause on March 13, 2013. The amended petition added to its previous allegations (1) respondent's failure to pay child support during the months of January and February 2013, and (2) ...


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