Family Court threatens imprisonment29-November-2010 Family Law By Mark Streeter
Family Court takes the Compliance of Orders seriously
On January 10, 2006, following their divorce, Mr Rand + Mrs Rand were given specific orders by the Family Court pertaining to the settlement of their property. On June 25th, 2007 Mr Rand was found guilty of Contempt of Orders and was to “be imprisoned until discharged by order of the Family Court of Australia” …. potentially for the term of his natural life!
Mr Rand appealed the conviction and the sentence was stayed providing that he entered into a bond and didn’t travel outside Sydney.
Three years later on the April 20, 2010, Mr Rand’s appeal was presented to the Full Court of the Family Court. Finally, on the 3rd of September 2010, judgement was delivered in favour of Mr Rand ensuring that the convictions for Contempt of Orders were overturned.
Interestingly, the reason that the conviction was overturned was that the Full Court found that the original order given on January 6th, 2006 was not sufficiently clear and was therefore too ambiguous to find a breach by way of contempt of the Order.
Whilst we agree that the current judgement rights a wrong, Mr Rand will not receive any compensation for the limitations placed upon his liberty for the past 3 years and to this extent, the delay has prejudiced his personal and financial interests.
This is a strong reminder the Family Court takes Compliance with Orders in relation to children and property extremely seriously.
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