The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last week to review a state appellate court decision in an Orange County child-support dispute that prosecutors say makes it impossible for them to force many parents in the county to pay what they legally owe.
The case that will be reviewed by the high court involves Philip and Alta Sue Feiock, who were divorced in 1976. Last year, Philip Feiock failed to make court-ordered $150 monthly child-support payments.
At a contempt-of-court hearing, prosecutors proved that Feiock knew of the court order and failed to comply. A judge gave him a 25-day suspended sentence, placed him on probation and ordered him to pay.
But in April, the 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana ruled that Feiock could not be held in contempt without proof that he was financially able to make the payments. The California Supreme Court declined to review that decision.