Typically, in San Diego Family Law divorce actions, the Courts will issue final decrees that establish the parties’ rights and obligations. If a party subsequently fails to comply with the terms of such orders, it may not only subject them to contempt actions but also may be grounds for the Courts declining to hear any arguments they assert pertaining to the orders, pursuant to the disentitlement doctrine. The disentitlement doctrine was the topic of a recent California opinion issued in a divorce action in which the Court found that the doctrine applied but ultimately decided to hear the offending party’s appeal regardless. If you need help with a divorce issue, you should consult a San Diego divorce lawyer as soon as possible.
Facts of the Case and Procedural History
It is reported that in October 2014, the Trial Court judgment of dissolution was entered, ending the marriage between the husband and the wife, who shared two daughters. Subsequently, a series of post-judgment proceedings ensued. The husband subsequently appealed three of the orders resulting from those proceedings; the orders pertained to financial matters, including unpaid sums owed by the husband, the issuance of a writ of execution against him, and an award of attorney fees and costs to the wife.
Allegedly, before filing her respondent’s brief, the wife initiated a motion to stay or dismiss the appeal, invoking the disentitlement doctrine. This doctrine empowers an appellate court to halt or dismiss an appeal when the appellant persistently violates trial court orders. The husband opposed the motion. Continue reading