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Evidentiary Hearing on Ability to Purge at Trial Court Proceedings for Civil Contempt

Court proceedings may be discontinued at any time at the State’s Attorney’s discretion.

At any court appearance where the obligor is facing immediate incarceration or imposition of a fine, whether requested by Child Support Services (CSS) or on the court’s own motion, the court must set purge conditions at the time of execution of sentence. The purge conditions may be presented to the court as an agreement between CSS and the obligor. If no agreement is reached as to the purge conditions, the State’s Attorney requests the court conduct an evidentiary hearing on obligor’s present ability to pay a purge fee. At the hearing, the State’s Attorney offers evidence or elicits information from the obligor or witnesses relevant to the present ability to pay a purge fee. The State’s Attorney then requests a purge fee be set in accordance with the evidence, or other purge conditions set as appropriate. It is important for the State’s Attorney to be sure the record reflects that CSS elicited or offered evidence about the obligor’s current ability to purge and that its request for a particular purge fee or method is supported by that evidence. See article on ‘Appeals and Preserving the Record.’

Legal Authority
See Civil Contempt Legal Authority