Divorce actions are often contentious, and it is not uncommon for a Florida court to issue an order in a divorce proceeding that prevents a party from taking intentional or inadvertent actions that harm the other party’s interests. If a person fails to comply with the terms of such order, they may be held in contempt of court. As discussed in a recent Florida divorce case, overturning a contempt finding can be challenging. If you want to obtain a divorce, it is wise to confer with a Miami divorce lawyer to evaluate your options.
Procedural and Factual Setting
It is reported that the husband and the wife were involved in an ongoing divorce case. The wife filed two contempt motions against the husband; one of these motions was granted by the trial court. The contempt order the court granted arose from the husband allegedly canceling a credit card that the wife had access to due to her employment with their jointly-owned business. The husband then sought certiorari relief, arguing that the trial court couldn’t consider the credit card issue as it belonged to the business, a non-party to the case.
Certiorari Relief in Divorce Actions
On appeal, the court first explained the principles surrounding certiorari jurisdiction, emphasizing its extraordinary nature and limited application. Specifically, the court noted that certiorari is considered only when there is a departure from the essential requirements of the law and when irreparable harm, not correctable on post-judgment appeal, is demonstrated. The court underscored the importance of a “jurisdictional evaluation” focused on irreparable harm before certiorari can be used for reviewing non-final orders, aiming to discourage piecemeal review.
After examining the husband’s petition, the court identified two critical flaws. First, the petition predominantly focused on harm to the jointly-owned business, a non-party, rather than establishing harm to the husband, the petitioner before the court. The court clarified that certiorari relief cannot be granted based on alleged harm to a party not involved in the case.
Second, the petition lacked specificity in identifying real and ascertainable harm, relying on speculative concerns about potential future debts and obligations. The court clarified that speculative and unsupported claims are insufficient to establish material injury for certiorari jurisdiction.
Given the paramount importance of irreparable harm in certiorari cases, the court concluded that the husband’s petition failed to demonstrate how the purported harm was incurable by a final appeal. As a result, the court dismissed the husband’s certiorari petition.
Talk to a Knowledgeable Miami Attorney About Your Divorce
The Florida courts will often issue temporary and final orders restricting the parties’ behavior, and if either party fails to comply with an order, they can be held in contempt. If you or your spouse intend to end your marriage, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney. The knowledgeable Miami divorce lawyers of the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A. are proficient at helping people safeguard their interests in dissolution proceedings, and if you engage our services, we will work diligently on your behalf. You can contact us at 800-596-0579 or use the form online to set up a conference.