You Decide:

Judge Harris has been criticized for jailing those who fail to pay civil judgments. Those criticizing him argue, in essence, that he has returned us to the days of debtor’s prison. He and his supporter say it is not really about debt. These are Judge Harris’ own words, taken directly from his order dated 12/16/05 in Wadsworth v. LaRoche, Cascade County Justice Court Cause Number SM-2005-66:

“Defendant provided no reasonable excuse for his failure to pay the judgment . . . the Court finds Defendant is in contempt of Court for his willful refusal to pay even one nickel on the judgment. IT IS ORDERED that the Defendant is found in Contempt of Court and shall be held as a prisoner in the Cascade County Detention Center INDEFINITELY until he complies with the Court’s order and pays $1,552.62 to plaintiffs.”

The bold and capitals are reprinted as they were in the order. Was the person ordered to be jailed because of contempt, or failure to pay?


Anonymous said...

I am a semi-retired 57 year old woman. I only wanted to tell you I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your comments. This weblog is part of my morning routine. Coffee, read the paper, run to the computer and read the new comments.

Such civilized discussions. Thank you.

One other comment - I do not know Mrs. Smartt. I do not know Mrs. Harris. Both women have suffered. Neither one deserved it.

Anonymous said...

The JPs have been beating litigants and counsel alike with this Contempt power for two long. Countless people have been threatned or held in contempt under the current regime. Well it seems that someone has finally had enough. Rumor has it that a Writt of Mandamus was filed against both JPs in connection with thier attempts to hold attorney Larry Anderson in contempt. Might make for interesting reading if anyone gets a copy from the District Court Clerk

GeeGuy said...

I'm glad you're reading, and I'm especially glad you chose to comment. Thank you.

You raise an excellent point, too, about the wives of both men. It was something I have considered commenting on in a post.