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Appellant wife challenged a decision of the Circuit Court of Arlington County (Virginia), which awarded damages in favor of appellee husband in a civil contempt hearing.
On appeal, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded the case for further proceedings. The court held that the trial court’s refusal to continue the civil contempt hearings in order for the wife to obtain counsel was proper. The court noted that when a party had the opportunity to present testimony but chose not to do so, there was no denial of due process. The court further held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to continue the case. The court also held that the trial court did not err when it decided that the doctrine of res judicata did not bar the husband from seeking indemnity from the wife. The court found that the trial court erred in fixing and awarding excessive damages. The court noted that the trial court’s decision that ordered the wife to pay the husband’s attorney’s fees was improper because the parties’ agreement stated that both parties were responsible for their own attorney’s fees. The court further reversed the judgment permitting the seizure and attachment of the wife’s property.
The court affirmed the judgment in favor of the husband, in part. The court reversed the portion of the decision that authorized the seizure and attachment of the wife’s property. The court then remanded the case for a new hearing on the issue of damages.
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