STATE OF TENNESSEE EX REL. DEEDRA CLIMER BASS v. JOSE RAMON GONZALEZ-PEREZ - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on May 19, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Lee J. Chase, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jose Ramon Gonzalez-Perez.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; and M. Cameron Himes, Assistant Attorney General for the appellee, State of Tennessee ex. rel Deedra Climer Bass.

Judge(s): SWINEY

Jose Ramon Gonzalez-Perez (“Father”) appeals the March 7, 2016 order of the Juvenile Court for Shelby County (“the Juvenile Court”) finding him in contempt for non-payment of child support. Father raises several issues including whether Father can be held guilty of contempt when benefits Father receives pursuant to 33 U.S.C.A. § 901 et seq., the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, are exempt from “all claims of creditors and from levy, execution, and attachment or other remedy for recovery or collection of a debt . . . ” under § 916 of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act; whether the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act preempts inclusion of Father’s benefits from the calculation of child support; and whether Father was guilty of contempt for non-payment of child support. We find and hold that although the benefits Father receives are exempt from levy, execution, attachment, etc., Father may be found guilty of contempt; that the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act does not preempt the inclusion of the benefits Father receives from the calculation of child support; and that Father had the present ability to pay child support and willfully failed to do so making Father guilty of contempt. We, therefore, affirm the March 7, 2016 order of the Juvenile Court finding Father in contempt for non-payment of child support.

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