Is a Wife Entitled to An Award of Attorney's Fees As a Result of Her Husband's Civil Contempt ?
In Matter of Daniels v. Guntert (256 AD2d 940 [3d Dept 1998]), the Court held that a wife is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees as a result of her husband's civil contempt.
In Kiperman v. Steinberg (234 AD2d 518 [2d Dept 1996]) the Court awarded costs and attorneys' fees and held that it was not a "sanction" or "punishment" in any worthwhile sense to award these monetary amounts.
Thus, this court is guided by appellate authority as well as Matter of T.F., which awards both costs and attorney fees in a finding of civil contempt.
The Criminal Court, as a court of record, is authorized to issue a subpoena duces tecum in accordance with CPL 610.20 (1) which provides that "any criminal court may issue a subpoena for the attendance of a witness in any criminal action or proceeding in such court."
The term subpoena includes, as is stated explicitly in CPL 610.10 (3), a "subpoena duces tecum," which is a subpoena which requires a witness to bring and produce specified physical evidence.
To find that contempt has occurred in a given case "it must be determined that a lawful order of the court, clearly expressing an unequivocal mandate, was in effect.
It must [also] appear, with reasonable certainty, that the order has been disobeyed ... and that the party to be held in contempt had knowledge of the court's order." (McCormick v. Axelrod, 59 NY2d 574, 583 .)