Appeal from Kent, Stuart Hoffius, J.
T. M. Burns, P. J., and V. J. Brennan and M. F. Cavanagh, JJ.
1. Contempt -- Confinement -- Civil Contempt -- Criminal Contempt -- Coercion -- Punishment.
Contempt proceedings for nonsupport may be either criminal or civil in character, and either type may involve confinement; civil contempt seeks to coerce a defendant to do what he is able to do but refuses to do, while criminal contempt imposes a definite term of imprisonment as punishment for a past offense.
2. Contempt -- Statutes -- Criminal Contempt -- Imprisonment -- 30 Days.
The punishment provision of the statute governing contempt proceedings provides that imprisonment for contempt where it is no longer within the power of the party to perform the act or duty ordered may not exceed 30 days (MCLA 600.1715; MSA 27A.1715).
3. Contempt -- Civil Contempt -- Coercive Commitments -- Power to Comply -- Child Support.
A commitment to coerce performance may properly continue so long as it is within the power of the contemnor to comply with the court order, but a statute limits the length of a coercive commitment to compel the payment of child support to one year even where the party continues to be in contempt (MCLA 552.201; MSA 25.161).
4. Contempt -- Criminal Contempt -- Procedural Safeguards -- Crimes of Equal Gravity -- Sentencing.
The time of sentencing for contempt is too late to inform a defendant that he has just been convicted of criminal contempt; to convict for criminal contempt requires compliance with the procedural safeguards established for the prosecution of any other crime of equal gravity.
5. Contempt -- Coercive Commitment -- Prerequisites -- Power to Comply -- Judges.
The ability to comply with a court's order and the possibility of terminating confinement is a prerequisite to coercive commitment for contempt, therefore, a trial Judge must find that the defendant is or could be of sufficient ability to comply with the order before imposing sentence.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cavanagh
Complaint for divorce by Margaret Borden against Thomas Borden. Divorce granted with an award for child support. Plaintiff petitioned for enforcement of delinquent payments under the support order. From an order committing defendant to jail for contempt until ...