Reeves v. Crownshield

8 N.E.2d 283 (1937)


Under state law, a court may order a judgment debtor to make payment out of income. These court orders must be made upon notice to the debtor and must take into consideration the needs of the debtor, his family, and those of other creditors. A refusal to pay under such a court order is punishable by contempt. Crownshield (D) owed a $400 judgment. D was employed by the federal government at a salary of $230 per month, had no children, and his wife's whereabouts were unknown. D had expenses of $48 a month for rent and living and had no other financial obligations. The court ordered D to pay $20 per month until the judgment was satisfied. D failed to pay and was held in contempt. D appealed: imprisonment for debt is barred by due process.