FROM THE CRAWFORD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 17CR-09-159 (II)]
HONORABLE MICHAEL MEDLOCK, JUDGE
Lisa-Marie Norris, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Ashley Argo Priest, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
M. GLOVER, Judge
Johnson appeals the Crawford County Circuit Court's
decision to hold him in contempt for failure to perform
community-service hours. He argues the State failed to prove
that his actions were willful and therefore contemptuous. We
affirm the trial court.
August 2013, Johnson pleaded guilty to driving while
intoxicated (third offense), driving with a suspended
license, and having no proof of insurance; he was fined $1,
200, assessed costs and fees, and sentenced to ninety days in
the county jail, with credit for fifty-two days served. The
remaining forty-eight days were ordered to be served on
electronic monitoring, conditioned on good behavior.
January 2015, the State filed a petition to revoke
Johnson's suspended sentence for failure to make any
payments toward his fine, costs, and fees after he had been
released from the Crawford County Detention Center on
September 26, 2013. Johnson entered a plea of guilty to
contempt for failure to make the payments ordered on August
17, 2015. The trial court ordered Johnson to perform
forty-five days of community service at the Crawford County
Courthouse to satisfy the contempt and the balance of his
fine, court costs, and fees.
August 27, 2015, the State filed a petition to revoke/show
cause, alleging Johnson had failed to comply with the terms
and conditions of his community service in violation of the
trial court's order. After a hearing, the trial court
found Johnson to be in contempt of its order and sentenced
him to thirty days in the Crawford County Detention Center to
satisfy his community-service requirement. Johnson timely
filed a notice of appeal from the trial court's finding
hearing, Junior Bing, director of community service for
Crawford County, testified Johnson had come to his office on
August 6, and he became upset when he learned he had been
ordered to perform forty-five days of community service and
that it was required to be performed at the courthouse.
According to Bing, Johnson told him he was not going to
perform the community service and left the office. Bing
explained that he gave Johnson additional time to report
because Johnson told him he did not live there and needed
some time; however, Johnson never returned to the office and
did not answer telephone calls.
testified he lived in Springdale, and he thought he would be
able to perform his community-service hours in Washington
County. He said Bing told him he had to report at 6 a.m.;
when Johnson told Bing that would be difficult because he was
supposed to be attending alcohol classes in Washington
County, Bing gave him a week to make arrangements with his
probation officer. Johnson testified he was not able to get
out of his alcohol classes; additionally, he admitted he
"caught a violation" and returned to jail in
Washington County. Johnson agreed he did not call Bing and
make him aware of his situation; he claimed he was unable to
do so because he had been arrested. On cross-examination,
Johnson admitted he was originally ordered to pay a fine and
costs and he did not do that; he further admitted that he was
later ordered to perform forty-five days of community service
to satisfy the fine and costs, and he did not perform the
community-service hours or give Bing reasons why he did not
perform the service hours.
is divided into criminal contempt and civil contempt.
Stehle v. Zimmerebner, 2016 Ark. 290, ___ S.W.3d
___. Criminal contempt preserves the power of the court,
vindicates its dignity, and punishes those who disobeys its
orders. Id. Criminal contempt carries an
unconditional penalty, and the contempt cannot be purged.
Id. The contempt imposed on Johnson is criminal in
nature because the thirty-day period in the Crawford County
Detention Center cannot be purged. In the case of criminal
contempt, appellate courts view the record in the light most
favorable to the trial court's decision; that decision is
sustained if it is supported by substantial evidence.
Coleman v. Coleman, 2016 Ark.App. 324, ___ S.W.3d
___. Substantial evidence is evidence of sufficient force and
character that it compels a conclusion one way or the other,
forcing the mind to pass beyond suspicion and conjecture.
admits he did not perform the community-service hours he was
ordered to perform in lieu of paying his fine and fees and
costs. However, he argues his failure to perform the ordered
community service was not willful because he could not
complete both the community service in Crawford County and
the alcohol classes he had also been ordered to attend as the
result of another case in Washington County. He also argues
his failure to call Bing was not willful because he incurred
new charges and was incarcerated.
affirm the trial court's contempt decision. Bing
testified Johnson became upset when he learned he could not
perform his community-service hours in Washington County and
told Bing he was not going to perform the required community
service. Bing reported Johnson never returned and did not
answer telephone calls. Johnson had already been held in
contempt once for failure to pay his fines and was ordered to
perform the community service in lieu of making payments.
Johnson again failed to obey the trial court's order,
this time to perform community service. While Johnson
presented reasons for his failure to obey the trial
court's order, the trial court was not required to
believe his testimony. Matters of credibility are for the
finder of fact. Summers v. State, 2012 Ark.App. 247.
Substantial evidence supports the trial court's finding
Harrison and ...