Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Woodward v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

February 14, 2018

JENNIFER M. WOODWARD, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Mark Alan Speiser, Judge; L.T. Case No. 16-006129CT10A.

          Carey Haughwout, Public Defender, and Benjamin Eisenberg, Assistant Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Heidi L. Bettendorf, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.

          Gross, J.

         Jennifer Woodward appeals a circuit court order finding her in both direct and indirect criminal contempt. We reverse the finding of indirect criminal contempt because the pertinent hearing transcript fails to disclose the conduct the judge identified as the basis of the contempt. We affirm the finding of direct criminal contempt.

         The contempt proceedings in this case arose in a probate action involving the estate of Woodward's deceased aunt.

         The March 2, 2016 Hearing

         At a March 2, 2016 hearing on a motion for appointment of administrator ad litem, Woodward interrupted with commentary about the "ridiculous" nature of the proceeding. The petitioner's attorney complained about Woodward's comments from the "peanut gallery." The trial judge warned Woodward that any further outbursts when it was not her turn to speak would result in her removal from the courtroom.

          After Woodward butted in again, the trial court gave her a "second and last" warning. He said that if she continued to speak out of turn, "then you're out of here. It's as simple as that."

         Woodward continued to heckle the petitioner's attorney, stating that she "could have been to Disney World four times with my ninety-year-old dad, " apparently a reference to the glacial pace of the probate proceeding. As she continued to talk over everyone, including the judge, the judge said "You are out. . . . You're out. . . . Get your face out of here."

         On her way out of the courtroom, Woodward stated, "Fort Lauderdale came to my son and abducted my son out of my house in Oakland Park in 2013. I got bigger fish to fry." She added, "You can have the pictures and the real estate card and the Jesus stuff, because you need it." It is unclear what she meant by these observations. Woodward did not return to the courtroom for the remainder of the hearing.

         After Woodward's exit, the petitioner's attorney discussed the necessity of an administrator for certain "property [that] is now vacant." Another attorney at the hearing also said "the house is supposed to be vacant." The trial court ultimately appointed an administrator ad litem for the limited purpose of listing the property for sale.

         The March ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.