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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Darrell and Angie Lausch signed temporary orders on June 23, 2003, naming Darrell the temporary joint managing conservator of one of the couples’ three children, and naming Angie the temporary joint managing conservator or the other two. Darrell was ordered to pay $200 per week in child support until further ordered by the court. Plus, both were enjoined from transferring any property. In August 2004, Angie filed a motion to enforce the June 23 child support order. An associate judge granted the motion, ordering Darrell to pay $3,765 in arrearages, plus attorneys’ fees. The judge also found Darrell in contempt and ordered him jailed for 120 days if he did not pay the back child support. The associate judge had Angie’s counsel submit an order for him to sign, and he announced that he would prepare a report signed by Darrell and Angie to submit to the trial court. The report included the above term and also indicated that Angie’s attorney was to submit orders to him by 4 p.m. the same day. The next day, the trial court signed the order submitted by Angie’s attorney. This order, however, was different in some respects from the one articulated by the associate judge: 1. it included the language from the prior child support order; 2. it set out 19 separate violations of the child support order; 3. it stated that Darrell was able to pay the amounts due at the time of each of the 19 violations: 4. under the heading “criminal contempt,” it stated that the 120 days’ confinement on each of the 19 violations should run concurrently; and 5. under the heading “civil contempt,” it stated that, after he served his criminal contempt time, Darrell should remain confined until he paid the $3,675, plus attorneys’ fees. The trial court ordered Darrell released three days later. The trial court also set a hearing for Sept. 10 to appeal the associate judge’s finding. At that hearing, the parties discussed the associate judge’s failure to make any findings related to Darrell’s indigency, and the trial court subsequently determined that Darrell’s indigency would be the only topic of the hearing. Consequently, the trial court affirmed the associate judge’s ruling by holding that Darrell did not adequately establish his indigency. The trial court ordered Darrell placed in jail. The trial court rejected Darrell’s request to have a bond, noting that in the order, Darrell was to be jailed for 120 days at a minimum; only after the term for the criminal contempt had been served would the issue of a bond be discussed. The trial court signed an order reflecting the earlier order’s terms and attaching that earlier order as an exhibit. This exhibit included a blank date line, a line drawn through where the associate judge’s signature would have been, a blank line for Angie’s attorney’s signature, and the district clerk’s file mark showing a Sept. 10 date instead of an August date. Once confined, Darrell filed this writ of habeas corpus. He has been released from custody on bond pending this court’s determination. HOLDING:Writ denied. Darrell first says that the variance between the associate judge’s report and the orders he and the trial court later signed violated Darrell’s due process rights. Whatever procedural irregularities may be present, these discrepancies are immaterial to the determination of Darrell’s petition because, having afforded Darrell his appeal of the associate judge’s report, the trial court, as the referring court, had the authority to adopt, to modify, or to reject the associate judge’s report, including any proposed order. Having attached the exhibit to the Sept. 10 order and, in the body of that order explicitly incorporated the exhibit by reference, the trial court made the exhibit a part of the operative order. Because the trial court signed the Sept. 10 order, the fact that the trial court’s signature did not appear on the exhibit is immaterial. The court also finds that, even if different wording was used to describe the two contempt findings, their effect � in terms of length of confinement and the manner in which the contempt could be lifted � was the same. The court examines the impact of the trial court’s signature on the August order, which Darrell says was void. The court agrees that proper procedure was not followed, because the trial court’s order was signed before Darrell’s statutory three-day window for appeal of the associate judge’s order expired. But the court finds that procedural error merely made the order voidable, not void. Any error was cured, however, when the trial court held a hearing on the only issue that Darrell wanted to appeal: his indigency. Finally, the court examines Darrell’s assertion that he should not be held in contempt for failure to pay because he is indigent. The court points out that Darrell admitted to owning a $27,000 unencumbered piece of property. Darrell did not explain why he could not sell that property to pay the arrearages, so he has also not shown why he should be considered indigent. OPINION:Tim Taft, J.; Taft, Jennings and Bland, JJ.

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