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Family — contempt

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//September 10, 2014//

Family — contempt

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//September 10, 2014//

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Wisconsin Court of Appeals


Family — contempt

Tulga Ozbaki appeals from a circuit court order finding him in contempt for failure to report substantial changes in his income as required by his divorce judgment and ordering him to purge the contempt by the payment of an amount compensating his ex-wife for the lost opportunity to seek increased child support and for her attorney fees. Ozbaki points out that the divorce judgment failed to inform him, as the statutes mandate, that he and his ex-wife should annually exchange financial information and that he should inform his ex-wife of substantial changes in his income within ten days. See Wis. Stat. §§ 767.27 and 767.263 (2003-04). He claims that he cannot be held in contempt for something he did not know he had to do. We reject that argument. Even though the omission was contrary to the clear import of the statutes, the judgment did order him “to notify the Sheboygan County Clerk of Courts of any change of employer or any change in the amount of income such that his ability to pay child support is affected, within ten (10) days of such change.” Ozbaki was not entitled to sit on his hands and tell no one about his increased income. His responsibility was to let the court know, through the clerk of courts. It is no answer that he claims not to have willfully violated this order. The order was as plain as day. We conclude that the underlying order imposed a clear obligation to inform the court of his changed income, that Ozbaki willfully violated that portion of the order, and that there was no error in the court’s exercise of its discretion in exercising its contempt power here. We affirm. This opinion will not be published.

2014AP813 In re the finding of contempt in In re the marriage of: Ozbaki v. Altass

Dist II, Sheboygan County, Sutkiewicz, J., Brown, C.J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Moir, William W., III, Sheboygan; For Respondent: Simon, Thomas C., Delafield


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