Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Presumption of Willful Violation
Jelks v. Wright
Appealed from Family Court, Erie County
Background: Respondent appealed from an order finding that the respondent be incarcerated if she did not pay certain child support arrears within two weeks. The respondent appealed from that part of the order finding her in willful violation.
Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed. The court concluded that there is a presumption that the respondent had sufficient means to support her minor children and that failure to pay is prima facie evidence of a willful violation. The respondent had stipulated to her violation. Further, she failed to rebut the presumption by submitting evidence that she was making reasonable efforts to obtain gainful employment to meet her support obligation.
Catharine M. Venzon of the Venzon Law Firm for the respondent-appellant; Melvin M. Jelks, III, pro se