Texas Man Gets 30 Days for Not Paying Legal Bill
Individuals can’t constitutionally be imprisoned in Texas for failing to pay a debt. But because a legal fee represents more than mere money, a state appeals court has upheld a judge’s contempt ruling sentencing a man who didn’t pay a $1,750 attorney fee as required by a family violence protective order to 30 days in jail.
Jonathan Skero also failed to comply with the order’s requirement that he attend anger management counseling, reports the Southeast Texas Record.
“Attorney’s fees are a means of enforcing a legal duty in which the public has an interest, and the fees are not viewed as mere debts or money judgments,” explains the 9th District appellate panel in its written opinion.