Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law for Virginia

Q: found guilty [ petition show cause civil ]-ordered to pay , do you have legal right to appeal in va?

after found guilty ,ordered to pay by certain date , 90 days jailed without bond ,is that considered a final decision? - .judge did not sign case as final, untill after the arrest was made-after did not pay - by date given - . clerks office explain can not appeal case, not signed by judge as a final decision... court appointed attorney did not have copy of current child support order that was on file with clerk office ,to prove petitioner used a temp. order; stating arrears not settled to date, continue to split child care cost ... then judge wrote date of hearing,.. the final child support order would have proved child care cost was added on the va . support guideline sheet -that figured the amount of final child support payment ..... ........... clerk's office explain case not sign ,by judge being final decision. called the attorney 3 different days ,leaving message ,clearly stated his concern with being denied a appeal hearing ,all calls never return.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles William Michaels
Charles William Michaels
  • Appeals & Appellate Lawyer
  • Columbia, MD

A: First, I am not a VA attorney. That said, I do not think you have a final judgment, yet. I assume that you were found "guilty" of civil contempt, and I assume that was for not paying child support. Unless a finding of civil contempt is separately appealable (by VA statute or rule) that is not a final judgment. What you can do is proceed with the case in the trial court, eventually obtain a final judgment, and then appeal--of course your main issue on appeal is that you had not committed civil or criminal contempt and the trial judge erred or abused his discretion when he found you "guilty."

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