Bigham v. Bigham, No. 19975

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtNESS; MOSS, C.J., and LITTLEJOHN; BUSSEY; LEWIS
Citation264 S.C. 101,212 S.E.2d 594
PartiesFaye Fowler BIGHAM, Appellant, v. Russell Andrew BIGHAM, Respondent.
Decision Date13 March 1975
Docket NumberNo. 19975

Page 594

212 S.E.2d 594
264 S.C. 101
Faye Fowler BIGHAM, Appellant,
v.
Russell Andrew BIGHAM, Respondent.
No. 19975.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
March 13, 1975.

Page 595

[264 S.C. 102] Culbertson & Whitesides, Laurens, for appellant.

Wyatt Saunders, Laurens, for respondent.

NESS, Justice:

This is the second time an action dealing with these parties' domestic relations has reached this Court. See Bigham v. Bigham, 262 S.C. 62, 202 S.E.2d 177 (1974). The matter currently before the court involves the propriety of a retroactive modification of accrued support payments in an order awarding an absolute divorce.

On February 8, 1973, the respondent was ordered by the Family Court of Laurens County to make support payments [264 S.C. 103] of Fifty ($50.00) Dollars per week to his wife, which order respondent failed to comply with, and on May 1, 1974, he was adjudged in contempt. Approximately one month later a hearing for a divorce was held and on June 25, 1974, a divorce was granted to the appellant-wife. The total arrearage of the support order was Two Thousand Four Hundred ($2,400.00) Dollars at the time of the hearing for final divorce. An additional One Hundred ($100.00) Dollars accrued by the time the divorce decree was issued. In this decree the Family Court reduced the support payments to One Thousand Six Hundred Ten and 24/100 ($1,610.24) Dollars in satisfaction for all past, present, and future alimony. Additionally, the husband was to pay the costs of the previous appeal and attorneys' fees. The total of the husband's obligation under this order, including reduced accrued support, costs of appeal and attorneys' fees, amounted to approximately Two Thousand Five Hundred ($2,500.00) Dollars.

Appellant first contends that the issue of past due support payments was not properly before the court. The wife in her complaint sought to have the husband held in contempt, and the defendant-respondent in his answer and counterclaim asked the court to vacate its order in toto; hence the

Page 596

concomitant issue of an award for the amount of accrued payments was properly before the court. In Jeter v. Jeter, 193 S.C. 278, 284, 8 S.E.2d 490, 493 (1940) a wife filed a request for contempt proceedings against her husband for his failure to provide support as previously ordered by the court. The husband sought a retroactive modification. It was held that it was within the jurisdiction of the court to order the relief sought:

'If a Court of equity had no such authority the matter of contempt proceedings would be automatic. The Judge would have no discretion but upon each application the Court would have to hold the person failing to pay the alimony in contempt and put him in jail, even though it might appear that ill health or financial disaster had come upon the delinquent[264 S.C. 104] husband and that he was in such condition as to be unable to comply with the orders. This is a monstrous doctrine that a Court of equity has to...

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34 practice notes
  • Davis v. Davis, No. 4188.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 21, 2006
    ...47, 56, 627 S.E.2d 754, 759 (Ct.App.2006). "Contempt results from the willful disobedience of an order of the court." Bigham v. Bigham, 264 S.C. 101, 104, 212 S.E.2d 594, 596 (1975); Smith v. Smith, 359 S.C. 393, 396, 597 S.E.2d 188, 189 (Ct.App.2004); S.C.Code Ann. § 20-7-1350 (Supp.2004) ......
  • Miller v. Miller, No. 4299.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 5, 2007
    ...17, 22-23, 88 S.E.2d 788, 790-91 (1955)). "Contempt results from the willful disobedience of an order of the court." Bigham v. Bigham, 264 S.C. 101, 104, 212 S.E.2d 594, 596 (1975); Smith v. Smith, 359 S.C. 393, 396, 597 S.E.2d 188, 189 (Ct.App.2004); S.C.Code Ann. § 20-7-1350 (Supp.2004) (......
  • Cheap-O's Truck Stop, Inc. v. Cloyd, No. 3512.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 3, 2002
    ...as to the acts or conduct upon which such finding is based. Edwards v. Edwards, 254 S.C. 466, 176 S.E.2d 123 (1970); Bigham v. Bigham, 264 S.C. 101, 212 S.E.2d 594 . . . . . Compensatory contempt is a money award for the plaintiff when the defendant has injured the plaintiff by violating a ......
  • Kosciusko v. Parham, Appellate Case No. 2017-000016
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • November 6, 2019
    ...order of the court." Miller v. Miller , 375 S.C. 443, 454, 652 S.E.2d 754, 759 (Ct. App. 2007) (quoting 836 S.E.2d 368 Bigham v. Bigham , 264 S.C. 101, 104, 212 S.E.2d 594, 596 (1975) ). However, it is 428 S.C. 492 well settled that a party may not be held in contempt for violation of a voi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
34 cases
  • Davis v. Davis, No. 4188.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 21, 2006
    ...47, 56, 627 S.E.2d 754, 759 (Ct.App.2006). "Contempt results from the willful disobedience of an order of the court." Bigham v. Bigham, 264 S.C. 101, 104, 212 S.E.2d 594, 596 (1975); Smith v. Smith, 359 S.C. 393, 396, 597 S.E.2d 188, 189 (Ct.App.2004); S.C.Code Ann. § 20-7-1350 (Supp.2004) ......
  • Miller v. Miller, No. 4299.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 5, 2007
    ...17, 22-23, 88 S.E.2d 788, 790-91 (1955)). "Contempt results from the willful disobedience of an order of the court." Bigham v. Bigham, 264 S.C. 101, 104, 212 S.E.2d 594, 596 (1975); Smith v. Smith, 359 S.C. 393, 396, 597 S.E.2d 188, 189 (Ct.App.2004); S.C.Code Ann. § 20-7-1350 (Supp.2004) (......
  • Cheap-O's Truck Stop, Inc. v. Cloyd, No. 3512.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 3, 2002
    ...as to the acts or conduct upon which such finding is based. Edwards v. Edwards, 254 S.C. 466, 176 S.E.2d 123 (1970); Bigham v. Bigham, 264 S.C. 101, 212 S.E.2d 594 . . . . . Compensatory contempt is a money award for the plaintiff when the defendant has injured the plaintiff by violating a ......
  • Kosciusko v. Parham, Appellate Case No. 2017-000016
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • November 6, 2019
    ...order of the court." Miller v. Miller , 375 S.C. 443, 454, 652 S.E.2d 754, 759 (Ct. App. 2007) (quoting 836 S.E.2d 368 Bigham v. Bigham , 264 S.C. 101, 104, 212 S.E.2d 594, 596 (1975) ). However, it is 428 S.C. 492 well settled that a party may not be held in contempt for violation of a voi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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