Scruggs contempt case dismissed

“For jurisdictional purposes, the undisputed facts are that Scruggs was not a party, nor was he an attorney-of-record or at any time make an appearance in, the Renfroe case,” Vinson wrote. “Subject to exceptions discussed infra, it is axiomatic that courts only have power and jurisdiction to enjoin parties before the court.”

Vinson also ruled that because the Rigsbys did not attempt to violate the court order, the exception that exists to charge those who aid and abet a violation was not applicable.

“Indeed, Judge Acker held that they had not acted improperly with respect to the injunction; they had given all the documents to Scruggs more than five months before the injunction was entered,” Vinson wrote. “An injunction, of course, does not reach backwards in time to action taken prior to the time it was issued.

“Moreover, Judge Acker found that the Rigsbys attempted (even if only halfheartedly) to comply with the injunction by seeking to get the documents back from Scruggs and Hood.

“Specifically, both sisters and their attorney, Greg Hawley, made several phone calls to Scruggs and the Attorney General’s Office and requested that the documents be delivered to counsel for Renfroe. This, too, precludes a finding that Scruggs aided and abetted any violation of the injunction.”

Legal Newsline
2/29/8