Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Case Law Development: Trial Court has Discretion to Appoint Receiver to Insure Availability of Funds to Pay Child Support
After Wife discovered that Husband had been molesting their 12-year-old daughter, she sought a divorce. Husband was convicted of child sexual assault and sent to prison. He sold his share of the family business to his siblings for $642,446.90 and gave his father power of attorney to manage the proceeds of that sale. The father paid over $250,000 in taxes and attorneys fees out of the proceeds. Wife asked the court for an injunction restraining further dissipation of the account so that there would be assets available to pay child support obligations. The court, on its own motion, appointed a receiver to manage the account and insure the support obligations were paid.
The California Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's appointment of a receiver under these circumstances. The court noted that trial courts have the discretion to balance the hardships in appointing a receiver and may do so without a motion of either party. The court held that "In the instant case, the trial court's finding of fiscal manipulation amply justified the continued employment of a receiver and the placement of appellant's assets in court-blocked accounts."
In re Gillam, 2005 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 9404 (October 17, 2005)
Opinion on the web at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/F045590.PDF (Last visited October 18, 2005 bgf)