Tennessee child support law on right to a jury trial for contempt for failure to pay child support from the Supreme Court of Tennessee.
Susan L. Brown vs. Fred De Loach Latham and Patricia Peebles Walker vs. Clint Monroe Walker, Sr. – Tennessee child support law
Two cases were consolidated on appeal because both involved issues of contempt for failure to make child support payments. The question that arose is whether someone accused of contempt can request a jury trial. The Supreme Court affirmed that there is indeed a right to a jury trial when one is defending against criminal contempt charges, even when done in the context of a civil child support enforcement proceeding.
The first matter concerned Fred De Loach Latham, against whom his former wife, Susan Latham (Brown), had taken a judgment for child support arrears. She requested he be incarcerated, and he requested a jury trial. No case details were provided in the opinion as to the amount or duration of arrears claimed or the income of the Father. Continue reading