KARL O. KOEPKE, Appellant,
NANCY M. KOEPKE, Appellee.
FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
from the Circuit Court for Orange County, Donald A. Myers,
Wasson, of Wasson & Associates, Chartered, Miami, for
Gregory M. Wilson, Orlando, for Appellee.
GROSSHANS, J., and ROBERSON, E.C., Associate Judge, concur.
J., concurs and concurs specially, with opinion.
Koepke ("Former Husband") appeals the final order
finding him in indirect criminal contempt of court in his
post-dissolution action against Nancy M. Koepke ("Former
Wife"). He raises two issues on appeal: (1) the trial
court's failure to effectuate proper service of process
pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.840(a), and
(2) the insufficiency of evidence establishing willfulness.
second argument raised is meritless. Former Husband, a
practicing lawyer, has been battling with Former Wife over
his payment of alimony. During the pendency of the
proceeding, Former Wife sought discovery related to Former
Husband's anticipated settlement of a personal injury
case, in which he was expected to generate a significant
award of attorneys' fees. Former Wife sought to use the
award to resolve Former Husband's unpaid alimony
obligation. However, after settling the personal injury case,
Former Husband proceeded on a course of conduct devised to
conceal from Former Wife both the settlement and his award of
attorneys' fees. Ultimately, Former Husband placed a
significant portion of his awarded fees into an
irrevocable trust to shield the monies from use for repayment
of past due alimony.
record amply supports the trial court's findings holding
Former Husband in indirect criminal contempt. The court, in
its well-articulated order, stated:
In this case, the Court concludes that the Defendant's
responses to the discovery requests, both as a lawyer and
client, were untruthful and intentionally
misleading, interposed for the purpose of obfuscating and
delaying Former Wife's discovery of the terms of the
Settlement Agreement at Mediation. At the time the Defendant
produced no settlement agreement and affirmatively stated
there were no settlement agreements, there was in fact a
Settlement Agreement at Mediation personally signed by the
Defendant. The Court also concludes that the Defendant's
intentional failure to comply with the properly issued
subpoena duces tecum for trial was intended to obfuscate and
delay Former Wife's discovery of the terms of the
Settlement Agreement at Mediation, and to delay and hinder
trial on the issues of alimony.
. . . .
While successfully accomplishing the delay in disclosure of
the personal injury case settlement, Defendant researched,
planned and executed a diversion of the attorneys' fees
to an irrevocable trust. The diversion effectively shielded a
substantial asset that would have been available for payment
of overdue, unpaid alimony and attorneys' fees/costs as
appropriate. Further, it impacted the Court's ultimate
analysis of the Defendant's "ability to ...