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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Paul Edward Henry and Dawn Henry were divorced in November 1997. They had one child. The final divorce decree ordered Paul to pay weekly child support, certain debts, and the 1995 and 1996 real estate taxes due on the marital residence. Paul failed to comply with the decree, and on Sept. 3, 2003, the trial court conducted a hearing on Dawn’s motion to enforce. On Dec. 5, 2003, the trial court signed an order finding Paul guilty of contempt for failure to pay past-due real estate taxes and of 359 separate acts of contempt for failure to pay child support. The trial court imposed a criminal contempt sentence of confinement in the county jail for 72 hours and a civil contempt sentence requiring that Paul remain confined until he paid his ex-wife $30,141, which included $20,873 in past-due child support, $2,268 in interest, $4,640 in past-due property taxes, and $2,360 in attorney’s fees. The trial court suspended the sentence on the condition that Paul make weekly payments toward the full judgment and continue the previously ordered weekly child-support payment, but the trial court revoked the suspension in a separate commitment order signed on Jan. 8, 2004, after Paul failed to comply with the suspension order’s conditions. Paul was ordered to serve the 72-hour criminal contempt portion of the order and was remanded to custody for confinement in the county jail until he paid Dawn the full judgment of $30,141, plus $860 in additional child support and $2,300 in additional attorney’s fees. Paul filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the court of appeals, which was denied. He then petitioned this court for relief. HOLDING:Granted. The Henrys’ divorce decree addresses the payment of property taxes in a section devoted to division of assets and requires payment of the taxes “as a part of the division of the estate of the parties.” The court determines whether the trial court’s coercive contempt sentence for Paul’s failure to pay the court-ordered property taxes constitutes prohibited imprisonment for debt. The Henrys’ divorce decree did not indicate that funds to pay the property taxes presently existed nor did it specify particular community funds from which the property taxes were to be paid. Without such identification of existing funds, the court cannot consider Paul a constructive trustee or fiduciary who holds community assets that rightfully belong to Dawn. Consequently, Paul’s obligation to pay past-due property taxes is a debt owed to the taxing entity, the court concludes. Paul contends the trial court’s entire commitment order is void, because it assesses one coercive punishment for all acts of civil contempt when at least one of those acts is not punishable by confinement. The court agrees. The commitment order does not allocate the $30,131 judgment based on separate contemptuous acts and contains no findings to support a lesser coercive contempt sentence. “Accordingly, we are unable to reform the civil commitment order or sever any portion thereof. Had the commitment order in this case itemized the contemptuous acts and identified a discrete dollar amount for each failure to pay, our conclusion might be different.” OPINION:Per curiam.

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