Robbie v. Robbie, No. 97-3430

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM.
Citation726 So.2d 817
Decision Date03 February 1999
Docket Number No. 97-3430, No. 97-3582
PartiesJoseph Michael ROBBIE, Appellant, v. Dwyn Daniels ROBBIE, Appellee.

726 So.2d 817

Joseph Michael ROBBIE, Appellant,
v.
Dwyn Daniels ROBBIE, Appellee

Nos. 97--3582

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District.

February 3, 1999.


726 So.2d 819
Alice E. Warwick of Alice E. Warwick, P.A., Coral Gables, and Linda Ann Wells, Miami, for appellant

A. Matthew Miller of Miller, Schwartz & Miller, P.A., Hollywood, for appellee.

PER CURIAM.

This appeal arises from dissolution proceedings between the parties, which have already generated numerous appeals in this court. After this court's partial reversal of the underlying divorce judgment, see Robbie v. Robbie, 654 So.2d 616 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995)("Robbie I"), the case was remanded to the trial court for valuation and equitable distribution of the appreciation of one of the husband's non-marital assets, the Miami Sports Corporation. On remand to the trial court, the wife made certain discovery requests, and the trial court directed the husband to furnish the requested information. The trial court further awarded the wife temporary alimony for the first time on remand and ordered the husband to pay the same. The issues presented in this appeal concern the husband's subsequent decision to disobey the trial court's discovery orders and orders concerning the temporary alimony award, which resulted in the trial court's order holding the husband in contempt for his noncompliance.1 Finding no error requiring reversal of the proceedings in the trial court, we affirm.

With regard to the husband's disobedience of the court's discovery orders, the husband contends that his conduct was justified because the court did not have jurisdiction to force compliance with the orders, which the husband urges were beyond the scope of this court's Robbie I remand instruction. We cannot agree with the husband that he was free to disregard the court's orders and not run the risk of contempt sanctions simply because he viewed the discovery requests as beyond the scope of the remand instruction in Robbie I. So long as the court's orders were entered with subject matter jurisdiction, the husband would still be required to obey those orders, even if erroneous. See Kaylor v. Kaylor, 466 So.2d 1253, 1254 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985); In re S.L.T., 180 So.2d 374, 377 (Fla. 2d DCA 1965).

While the husband argues that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enter orders compelling discovery, he fails to recognize that even if the trial court and the wife's attorney misconstrued the extent of our instructions, our remand instructions would not foreclose all discovery, such as discovery necessary to establish the value of the Miami Sports Corporation. Therefore, the trial court had jurisdiction to order the discovery, even if the discovery requests were overbroad as the husband contends. The reason that a party may properly be held in contempt for failure to abide by an erroneous order is that the need for obedience to a court order outweighs the individual's temporary detriment. See Rubin v. State, 490 So.2d 1001, 1003 (Fla. 3d DCA 1986). The trial court did not abuse its discretion by sanctioning the husband for his contemptuous conduct in refusing to obey the orders of the trial court requiring answers to interrogatories and requests to produce.

The husband also challenges, on jurisdictional grounds, the order of contempt with respect to the non-payment of temporary alimony awarded after remand of the case from this court. He contends that the trial court did not have jurisdiction on remand to

726 So.2d 820
order it. We conclude that, although the trial court may have entered an erroneous ruling awarding temporary alimony, as with the discovery order, it had jurisdiction, and the husband was not free to ignore the court's order

In the instant case, the final judgment awarded the wife lump sum alimony payable in annual installments and "bridge-the-gap" alimony for a little over a year. Significantly for purposes of this appeal, the trial court specifically rejected the wife's claim for permanent periodic alimony. In Robbie I, the parties vigorously litigated on appeal the wife's entitlement to permanent periodic alimony and the amount of the "bridge-the-gap" alimony. This court affirmed all matters regarding the wife's support and reversed only the determination that the enhancement in the husband's interest in Miami Sports Corporation during the marriage was not a marital asset.

Our approval of the final judgment's provisions with respect to alimony, including the denial of permanent alimony, constituted the law of the case. See Mitzenmacher v. Mitzenmacher, 656 So.2d 178, 179-80 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995). On remand the trial court was bound by the affirmed determination that the wife had not proved that she was entitled to support alimony beyond the limited bridge-the-gap alimony awarded.2 Thus, the wife's motion for temporary support, which merely alleged that she was in need of support and the husband had the ability to pay, would have required the trial court to make factual findings contrary to the determinations in the final judgment.

Despite the fact that the trial court's order on temporary alimony violated the doctrine of the law of the case, the court had jurisdiction over the proceeding. This is so because the law of the case doctrine is not a rule of jurisdiction; instead it is a "rule[] of convenience designed to prevent repetitious law suits over matters which have once been decided and which have remained substantially static." City of Miami v. Bell, 606 So.2d 1183, 1185 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992)(quoting Wagner v. Baron, 64 So.2d 267 (Fla.1953) (internal quotations omitted), quashed in part on other grounds, 634...

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13 practice notes
  • Brailsford v. Brailsford, No. 4456.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • November 14, 2008
    ...hand Florida has developed a common law rule which achieves substantially the same purpose as the Georgia statute. Robbie v. Robbie, 726 So.2d 817, 821 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1999); see Fuster-Escalona v. Wisotsky, 715 So.2d 1053, 1054 (Fla.Dist. Ct.App.1998) (holding that the trial judge erred i......
  • Soto v. State, No. 98-2527.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • December 15, 1999
    ...rulings, however, will not warrant a judge's disqualification. See Rivera v. State, 717 So.2d 477, 481 (Fla.1998); Robbie v. Robbie, 726 So.2d 817, 822 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999). The motion to recuse was properly At trial, Soto complained that the state was allowed to exercise a peremptory challe......
  • Engesser v. Engesser, Case No. 5D09-871
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 9, 2010
    ...the standard of living the parties had together to the standard that a spouse can provide for himself or herself. See Robbie v. Robbie, 726 So. 2d 817, 820 n.2 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999). In the case before us, the former wife has adequate employment skills and an exemplary employment record. Ther......
  • ENGESSER v. ENGESSER, No. 5D09-871.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 26, 2010
    ...of living the parties had together to the standard that a spouse can provide for himself or 42 So.3d 252 herself. See Robbie v. Robbie, 726 So.2d 817, 820 n. 2 (Fla. 4th DCA In the case before us, the former wife has adequate employment skills and an exemplary employment record. There is no......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • Brailsford v. Brailsford, No. 4456.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • November 14, 2008
    ...hand Florida has developed a common law rule which achieves substantially the same purpose as the Georgia statute. Robbie v. Robbie, 726 So.2d 817, 821 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1999); see Fuster-Escalona v. Wisotsky, 715 So.2d 1053, 1054 (Fla.Dist. Ct.App.1998) (holding that the trial judge erred i......
  • Soto v. State, No. 98-2527.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • December 15, 1999
    ...rulings, however, will not warrant a judge's disqualification. See Rivera v. State, 717 So.2d 477, 481 (Fla.1998); Robbie v. Robbie, 726 So.2d 817, 822 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999). The motion to recuse was properly At trial, Soto complained that the state was allowed to exercise a peremptory challe......
  • Engesser v. Engesser, Case No. 5D09-871
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 9, 2010
    ...the standard of living the parties had together to the standard that a spouse can provide for himself or herself. See Robbie v. Robbie, 726 So. 2d 817, 820 n.2 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999). In the case before us, the former wife has adequate employment skills and an exemplary employment record. Ther......
  • ENGESSER v. ENGESSER, No. 5D09-871.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 26, 2010
    ...of living the parties had together to the standard that a spouse can provide for himself or 42 So.3d 252 herself. See Robbie v. Robbie, 726 So.2d 817, 820 n. 2 (Fla. 4th DCA In the case before us, the former wife has adequate employment skills and an exemplary employment record. There is no......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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