Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fourth District Court Overrules Magistrate who Overruled Court

The Fourth District ruled yesterday in Drdek v. Drdek, a rather unusual case in which one Magistrate found that the Former Husband was not in contempt for non-payment of alimony in that the retirement benefits he lived on were waived by the Former Wife in the MSA.  No exception was taken to that order, and the Court upheld the report of the Magistrate.  At a later contempt hearing, however, a different Magistrate decided that the previous ruling was incorrect, and overruled it on the basis that a manifest injustice would occur if contempt was not found.  At exceptions filed by the Former Husband, that second report was rejected on the basis of the law of the case.  The Fourth District Court, first pointing out that this is not the Law of the Case Doctrine, instead overturned the second ruling on the basis that the Magistrate lacked the ability to “correct errors of law committed by a predecessor,” as did the lower court.  As such, having taken no exception or appeal, the Former Wife was unable to seek a different result, and remand was ordered to determine if there was some other means of payment besides the retirement benefits.

No comments:

Criminal Justice Degree Schools