- Failing to provide required notice timely to Katcher that Fountain was moving on June 22 by giving notice on June 18, 2012,
- Failing to give notice to the child's school by May 15, that Katcher could pick the child up there, and
- Failing to post information to a website that Fountain was obliged to.
Reading through the papers of this case I am reminded of an Italian proverb- that a lawsuit plants a tree in a lawyer's garden. At least five lawyers have worked on this case, not counting justices and staff at First Court. Still, jailing people is not to be done unless the rules are observed, that is, unless the alleged contemnor gets timely notice of what is complained of and the sheriff is given written notice of the basis for the commitment order. When a panel splits like this, it often behooves respondent's counsel to seek that the whole appeals court reconsider, and, if that does not free the client, to file an application with the higher court, in this case, the Texas Supreme Court.
Commitment orders are hard to write. They are generally drafted before the hearing and have to marked up after. The decision to commit someone to jail often comes at the end of a long day, often after the judge has been listening to testimony for hours. At some point the judicial belly just becomes full of this matter and everyone in the courtroom is exhausted, yet movant's counsel must be painstaking with the paperwork and get the judge to dot every "i" and cross every "t" so as to reduce the likelihood of months of expensive games of ring-around-the-rosie in appellate courts.
In re Tammy Fountain, No. 01-12-00704-CV(Tex. App.--Houston (1st Dist.), Dec. 28, 2012) (orig. proceeding).