Matter of Thayer, Bankruptcy No. MM7-82-01441.

CourtUnited States Bankruptcy Courts. Seventh Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Western District of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtROBERT D. MARTIN
Citation24 BR 491
PartiesIn the Matter of James W. THAYER, Debtor.
Decision Date09 November 1982
Docket NumberBankruptcy No. MM7-82-01441.

24 B.R. 491 (1982)

In the Matter of James W. THAYER, Debtor.

Bankruptcy No. MM7-82-01441.

United States Bankruptcy Court, W.D. Wisconsin.

November 9, 1982.

Joel Bruce Winnig, Madison, Wis., for debtor.

John L. Schwab, Atty., Bosshard, Sundet & Assoc., La Crosse, Wis., for Sabina Bosshard and Karen Hutchinson.


ROBERT D. MARTIN, Bankruptcy Judge.

On October 29 a hearing was held on the order directing that Mrs. Karen Hutchinson, former wife of the debtor, and her attorney, Sabina Bosshard show cause why they should not be found in contempt of this court for violating provisions of 11 U.S.C. § 362 by moving the Circuit Court for Monroe County, Wisconsin, to enforce its contempt order against the debtor after this case had been filed. Sabina Bosshard and Karen Hutchinson appeared at the hearing represented by John Schwab of Bosshard, Sundet & Associates, and the debtor James W. Thayer appeared represented by Joel B. Winnig. Upon the evidence taken at that hearing and upon the whole record in this case, the court will issue an order of contempt, for the following reasons:

On July 26, 1982 the Honorable James W. Rice, Circuit Judge, found the debtor to have intentionally disobeyed the judgment of the Circuit Court for Monroe County by failing to pay the amount owed Karen Hutchinson pursuant to the judgment of divorce previously entered. Judge Rice committed the debtor to 90 days in the Monroe County jail but stayed that commitment until August 30, 1982 to allow the debtor to purge himself by payment of the $912 in back child support and $2,450 in delinquent property settlement payments.

The debtor had made no payments of the property settlement when he filed this case in bankruptcy on August 19, 1982. Notice of the bankruptcy filing was provided to Hutchinson and Attorney Bosshard on or about August 27, 1982. On or about September 26, 1982 Attorney Bosshard made inquiry of Judge Rice to determine whether the debtor had been committed to jail. Upon learning he had not and that the judge would take no action without a hearing, Attorney Bosshard prepared and filed a motion to terminate the stay of commitment specifying as grounds that the debtor had failed to purge himself by payment of $2,450 of delinquent property settlement. A hearing on the motion was held on October 1, 1982 at 3:30 p.m. Attorney Gregory Lunde appeared for the debtor and advised the court that no notice of the hearing had been given to the debtor. At the hearing Judge Rice heard evidence that although

24 BR 492
past support arrearages had been paid, the most recent payment was overdue. The judge then found the debtor to be in contempt for failing to pay $143 in support and took under advisement whether there was a contempt as to the $2,450 of unpaid property division. The judge issued a bench warrant for the debtor's arrest providing that if payment of the $143 and $75 in cost were made, the debtor would be released. Judge Rice subsequently on October 26, 1982 ordered that the debtor would not be jailed for contempt for failing to pay the property division because his bankruptcy would discharge that obligation

The issue before this court is whether Attorney Bosshard...

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