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Orban v. Rorrer

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

August 14, 2019

Robert G. Orban, Appellant,
v.
Susan M. Rorrer, etc., Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County Lower Tribunal No. 10-31827, Ariana Fajardo Orshan, Judge.

          Lubell & Rosen LLC, and Norman S. Segall, for appellant.

          Young, Berman, Karpf & Gonzalez, P.A., and Cynthia L. Greene; Joanne Garone (Pembroke Pines), for appellee.

          Before EMAS, C.J., and FERNANDEZ, and LINDSEY, JJ.

          PER CURIAM.

         Robert Orban, the former husband, appeals a final order finding him in contempt for failing to make timely attorney's fees and costs payments to Susan Rorrer, the former wife, pursuant to two previously entered Fee Orders. Because the trial court did not make findings as to Mr. Orban's ability to pay or his willful violation of the Fee Orders and did not include a purge provision in its contempt order, we reverse.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This appeal stems from a divorce proceeding, finalized in 2011. Following the divorce settlement, the parties engaged in numerous post-judgment proceedings, resulting in an appeal in which this Court found that the trial court erred in applying its own formula to calculate attorney's fees. We reversed and remanded for entry of a new fee award. See Rorrer v. Orban, 215 So.3d 148 (Fla. 3d DCA 2017). Following the appeal, the trial court entered two orders awarding Ms. Rorrer attorney's fees and costs for the appeal (the "Fee Orders"). Pursuant to the Fee Orders, Mr. Orban was required to make payments on the first of every month. In June 2018, Mr. Orban failed to make a timely payment. Mr. Orban made partial payments of his $5, 500.00 obligation on June 4 and 5, totaling $3, 500.00. On July 11, Ms. Rorrer moved to impose sanctions on Mr. Orban for failure to make timely payments. A day later, Mr. Orban paid the remaining balance for June 2018.

         An evidentiary hearing on Ms. Rorrer's motion for sanctions took place on July 9, 2018. At the hearing, Mr. Orban, who was not represented by counsel, was current on all his fee obligations and testified about his inability to pay. The trial court found Mr. Orban in contempt and entered an order requiring him to pay an additional $3, 877.50 to Ms. Rorrer in attorney's fees within thirty days as a sanction for failing to make timely payments (the "Contempt Order"). The Contempt Order allowed Mr. Orban to make his payments between the first and fifteenth days of months subsequent.

         This timely appeal followed.

         II. JURISDICTION

         We have jurisdiction because when a "trial court enters a post-judgment order . . . imposing sanctions, that order is itself an appealable final order." HSBC Bank, USA, Nat'l Ass'n v. Buset, 216 So.3d 701, 703-04 (Fla. 3d DCA 2017); see also Philip J. Padovano, Florida Appellate Practice § 24:15 (2018 ed.) ("An enforcement order, such as an order on a motion for contempt . . . might also be reviewable by appeal as a subsequent final order.").

         III. ...


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