Caffrey v. Caffrey

Decision Date06 April 1925
Docket NumberNo. 4172.,4172.
Citation55 App. DC 285,4 F.2d 952
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit

T. F. Cullen, of Washington, D. C., for appellant.

Mark Stearman and Henry Stearman, both of Washington, D. C., for appellee.

Before MARTIN, Chief Justice, and ROBB and VAN ORSDEL, Associate Justices.

ROBB, Associate Justice.

Appeal from a decree in the Supreme Court of the District remitting $90 of alimony that had accrued under a prior decree of the court in favor of the appellant. On March 3, 1923, a decree of divorce was awarded appellee, and appellant directed to pay $30 per month as alimony. Becoming in arrears, he was cited to show cause why he should not be adjudged in contempt. Answering, he alleged that he had sustained personal injuries, and for a time had been unable to work. He acknowledged the indebtedness, and averred that he was desirous of paying and would pay the amount as soon as able to earn the necessary money. Thereupon the court entered an order remitting part of the amount due, and from that order this appeal was noted.

Under section 976 of the Code, authority is expressly conferred upon the court below to decree a wife permanent alimony for her support and that of any minor children, upon the granting of a divorce to her. Section 978 provides that, after a decree of divorce in any case granting alimony, for the purposes above mentioned, "the case shall still be considered open for any future orders in those respects." The question, therefore, is whether this reservation is prospective or retroactive.

We think this question is determined by our decision in Phillips v. Kepler, 47 App. D. C. 384, 387. In that case a divorce had been granted a wife by a Nebraska court of competent jurisdiction, the decree to be in force only "until the further order" of the court. In this court it was contended that the decree as to past installments was not final, but we said: "The contention against the finality of the decree is based upon the provision which says that the requirement touching the alimony is to endure only `until the further order' of the court. But this does not disprove its finality as to installments past due. The decree may no doubt be altered by the court as to future payments, but there is no suggestion in it that, as to the installments which have matured, it is not final. In the Sistare Case, pages 13, 17, it was held that a decree like the one before us ...

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6 cases
  • Kephart v. Kephart
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • October 11, 1951
    ...him. But such refusal does not release the delinquent from civil liability to pay the amounts which have become due. Caffrey v. Caffrey, 1925, 55 App.D.C. 285, 4 F.2d 952. Did the District Court act within its discretion in refusing to punish Kephart for contempt? Not under his plea of lach......
  • Emrich v. McNeil
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • March 30, 1942
    ...245, Ann. Cas.1918C, 936. 1 D.C.Code (1940) § 11 — 804. 2 D.C.Code (1940) § 16 — 413. 3 D.C.Code (1940) § 16 — 411. 4 Caffrey v. Caffrey, 55 App.D.C. 285, 4 F.2d 952. 5 Demonet v. Burkart, 23 App.D.C. 6 Woods v. Bard, 285 N.Y. 11, 32 N.E. 2d 772, 774; O'Brien v. O'Brien, 252 App.Div. 427, 2......
  • Boehmer v. Boehmer
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals
    • April 30, 1935
    ... ... 667, 120 So. 150; Adair v. Superior ... Court (Ariz.) 33 P.2d 995, 94 A.L.R. 328; Parker v ... Parker, 203 Cal. 787, 266 P. 283; Caffrey v ... Caffrey, 55 App. D. C. 285, 4 F.2d 952; Simonton v ... Simonton, 33 Idaho 255, 193 P. 386; Craig v ... Craig, 163 Ill. 176, 45 N.E. 153; ... ...
  • Franklin v. Franklin, 9706.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • September 28, 1948
    ...384, hold only that other courts should enforce such payment if the court that issued the order would do so.2 So far as Caffrey v. Caffrey, 55 App. D.C. 285, 4 F.2d 952, Biscayne Trust Co. v. American Security & Trust Co., 57 App.D. C. 251, 20 F.2d 267, and Lockwood v. Lockwood, 82 U.S.App.......
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