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Rosenthal Law Group Prevails on Appeal Affirming a Contempt Order and Writ of Bodily Attachment Against a Judgment Debtor

Rosenthal Law Group recently prevailed in an appeal before Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal (Richard Fields and D. Bosworth, LLC, Appellants, v. Robert Toussie, Michael Toussie, Appellees, Case No. 4D119-1610, May 6, 2020), in a case involving an action to enforce a foreign judgment.

Rosenthal Law Group represented the judgment creditor who domesticated a foreign judgment exceeding $8,000,000 in Florida and sought discovery in aid of execution from the judgment debtor to collect the judgment.

The judgment debtor failed to comply with discovery in aid of execution, which prevented the judgment creditor from discovering financial information to enable him to collect the judgment.

Rosenthal Law Group filed several motions to compel and motions for sanctions on behalf of the judgment creditor. The judgment debtor ignored the outstanding discovery requests and court orders to respond to the discovery. The Firm sought, and the trial court granted, a Civil Contempt Order against the judgment debtor and issued a Writ of Bodily Attachment against the judgment debtor for his intentional disregard of multiple court orders, orders to compel, sanctions orders and orders to appear to show cause.

The judgment debtor appealed the trial court’s orders issuing a Writ of Bodily Attachment against the judgment debtor. On appeal, the judgment debtor argued that the trial court erred in issuing a Writ of Bodily Attachment against him ordering his incarceration. He asserted that he was entitled to an additional pre-incarceration hearing before the issuance of the Writ of Bodily Attachment for the court to make findings regarding the judgment debtor's ability to pay the fine and comply with all of the outstanding discovery orders.

Ruling entirely in favor of the Firm’s client, the Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion affirming the trial court’s Order of Civil Competent and Writ of Bodily Attachment against the judgment debtor.

This case confirms that the issuance of Writ of Bodily Attachment is a proper remedy against a party in a civil action that intentionally and repeatedly fails to comply with court orders. It further confirms that an additional hearing is unnecessary before ordering incarceration where, as in this case, the trial court issues a Writ of Bodily Attachment because of a party's past compliance with the trial court’s orders.

Attorneys Alex Rosenthal and Amanda Jones represented the judgment creditor before the trial court and on appeal.