The Court Trustee may file a contempt accusation against an obligor who does not make support payments as ordered by the court. A Court Trustee investigator or process server serves an Accusation in Contempt and Order to Appear on an obligor who resides in Sedgwick or a neighboring county. If the obligor resides in a distant county, the Court Trustee’s Office sends the documents to the Sheriff of that county for service. The Court Trustee also sends notice to the obligee of the date the obligor is ordered to appear for a hearing. It usually takes 4-6 weeks to get the obligor before the Court for a contempt hearing.
The obligor appears before the Hearing Officer on the date specified in the Order to Appear for a hearing on the Court Trustee’s Accusation in Contempt. The hearing takes place in one of the courtrooms on the 4th Floor of the Sedgwick County Courthouse. Also appearing will be a deputy court trustee who will represent the interests of the State of Kansas. The obligee is always encouraged to attend the hearing. The obligor has a right to counsel at contempt hearings due to the fact possible jail time may be imposed if found in contempt. Obligor can apply for and may qualify for court-appointed counsel. The Hearing Officer, after hearing statements from the deputy court trustee and the obligor or obligor’s attorney, enters appropriate orders. These include ordering the obligor to make additional payments for arrearage, orders for income withholding, and instructing the obligor to seek employment. The Hearing Officer usually orders the obligor to reappear before the Court at a later date to review compliance with the orders.
If the obligor has been personally served with an Order to Appear and fails to appear before the Hearing Officer, or if the obligor disregards an order to reappear for a review hearing, a bench warrant will be issued for his or her arrest.
The Court Trustee has an array of other enforcement tools available to collect delinquent child support. Among these are garnishment, attachment, execution, real and personal property liens, filing liens in civil actions and obtaining an involuntary allotment of a portion of a workers compensation award.