NICHOLAS P. SANDELIER, Appellant,
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
Martin County; Lawrence Michael Mirman, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Patrick B. Burke, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Mitchell A.
Egber, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for
defendant appeals an order on direct criminal contempt. He
argues the trial court erred in: (1) improperly classifying
his failure to appear as direct contempt; (2) failing to
comply with the procedural requirements for indirect contempt
proceedings; and (3) failing to make sufficient findings in
the judgment. We agree with him on his first two arguments
the defendant failed to appear at a court hearing, the trial
court issued a bench warrant and estreated his bond. The
defendant moved to recall the bench warrant and set aside the
bond estreature. At the hearing on his motion, the following
THE COURT: All right, [defendant], it is my practice to
concurrently hold a contempt hearing because of failure to
appear is considered direct contempt if it's willful; at
the same time we hear the issue about recalling the bench
warrant since the issue is overlapping meaning if I hold you
in contempt, I can sentence you independently to six months
in the county jail at the same time I hold you without bond
in that regard, so, just so you're aware of that, so, I
will notice you that that's what we're doing at this
time. Did you want to talk to your lawyer about that or do
you understand that?
(TRANSCRIBER NOTE: Pause)
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: We're ready, Your Honor.
THE COURT: You're ready to go forward? All right, so, at
this time I will be conducting a contempt hearing at the same
time we issue the - we address the issue of recalling the
bench warrant and setting aside the estreature. If you raise
your right hand, [defendant], the clerk will swear you.
court then asked the defendant why he should not be held in
contempt for failing to appear. The defendant explained there
had been a misunderstanding. He showed up to court at 1:30
p.m. on September 28, 2016, only to discover the hearing was
set the day before.
defendant testified that he called the court clerk and his
bondsman to confirm the court date on the morning of
September 27. His bondsman told him the court date was
September 28, and the clerk told him the hearing was at 1:30
p.m. The defendant also told the court he had a problem with
a truck in the middle of the state that needed to be moved.
court asked the defendant why the truck was relevant to his
failure to appear. The defendant replied he did not know, but
later said it was why he should not be held in contempt. The
State advised the court that the defendant had nine prior