in the Court of Appeals 14 January 2019.
by Defendant from Order entered 15 March 2018 by Judge
Kimberly Best in Mecklenburg County No. 09 CVD 28068 District
& Smith, PLLC, by Matthew R. Arnold, for
Plumides, Romano, Johnson & Cacheris, P.C., by Richard B.
Johnson, for defendant-appellant.
and Procedural Background
Bolger (Defendant) appeals from an Order holding him in civil
contempt for willfully failing to pay an award of
attorneys' fees included in a child support award during
the pendency of his appeal of the child support award.
Relevant to this appeal, the Record tends to establish the
case stems from its companion case, Simms v. Bolger,
___ N.C.App. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (2019) (COA18-551)
(Simms I). Defendant and Shaneekqua Simms
(Plaintiff) are the parents of a minor child. On 26 May 2010,
the Mecklenburg County District Court entered an Order
establishing Defendant's paternity of the minor child and
establishing Defendant's child support obligation.
June 2017, the trial court entered an Order (the June Order)
modifying permanent child support, requiring Defendant to pay
a lump sum child support payment to a trust for the minor
child, establishing Defendant's arrearages owed to
Plaintiff, and awarding attorneys' fees to Plaintiff in
the amount of $25, 000. On 12 June 2017, Defendant filed a
Motion to Reconsider and Revise the June Order asserting
grounds under N.C. R. Civ. P. 52, 59 and 60.
July 2017, Plaintiff filed a Verified Motion for Civil
Contempt, alleging Defendant's failure to pay monthly
child support payments, to pay child support arrearages, to
establish a trust for the benefit of the minor child, and to
pay attorneys' fees, as required by the June Order. On 27
July 2017, the trial court entered an order requiring
Defendant to appear and show cause as to why he should not be
held in contempt. The same day, the trial court entered an
Order granting in part Defendant's Motion to Reconsider
and Revise (the July Order).
on 20 November 2017, the trial court entered another Order
(the November Order), partially modifying the June Order by
adjusting Defendant's monthly child support obligation,
adjusting his arrearages owed, and directing the lump sum
child support payment to a custodial account. The trial court
ordered Defendant to pay additional attorneys' fees in
the amount of $16, 240. On 11 December 2017, Defendant filed
Notice of Appeal from the June, July and November Orders.
These Orders are the subject of Simms I.
January 2018, Defendant filed a Motion to Stay, requesting
the trial court set a bond to stay enforcement of the lump
sum child support award and the arrearages owed to Plaintiff
pending the appeal in Simms I. Defendant did not
seek a stay of the attorneys' fee awards pending appeal.
February 2018, Plaintiff filed an Amended Verified Motion for
Civil Contempt. The Amended Motion alleged Defendant had
still failed to pay ongoing child support, child support
arrearages, and the lump sum payment ordered by the trial
court, as well as the two different attorneys' fee
awards. On 7 February 2018, the trial court entered another
show cause order.
March 2018, the trial court granted in part Defendant's
Motion to Stay by permitting Defendant to post a cash bond of
$100, 000 to stay ...