Something Did Not Stay In Vegas: Florida Father Jailed For Contempt in Consenting To 16-Year-Old Son To Marry

There is an absolutely fascinating contempt finding in Florida where Millionaire Dan Rotta, 65, has been sent to jail for 180 days for criminal contempt in a divorce case — for allowing his 16 year old son to get married in Las Vegas. The court had ordered that the boy be sent to a special school in Utah — at the request of his mother Rene Rotta — in light of his problems with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. However, by marrying with the consent of one parent in Vegas, the boy is now legally treated as an adult and is no longer under the jurisdiction of the court as a child in the divorce case.

The teen had been ordered to enroll in the Logan River Academy in Utah. However, the day after he turned 16, he married Diana Esperanza Mendoza Guzman, the family’s housekeeper’s 18-year-old Colombian-born daughter. When confronted in court about the marriage, Rotta eventually admitted that he signed his consent — Vegas only requires the consent of one parent . . . or two Elvis impersonators.

Notably, the teen returned to Florida and was living alone without his wife in the family’s mansion. Rotta had resisted the move to Utah and was

In the hearing, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stanford Blake, who took the case over from another judge briefly asked “And you gave him permission to be married?”

Blake insisted “Well, I think that permission was his. I don’t how to answer the question.”

He eventually did answer the question and admit that he signed for the one parent consent.

Blake then asked “Is he on his honeymoon?”

Rotta replied “[He] is with me right now. He’s having breakfast. His wife is in Miami.”

Blake then ends the exchange on a sarcastic note: “Okay. Gee, it’s a shame they got married so quickly and had to be apart.”

That raises some interesting questions. First, if this is viewed as sham marriage, can the court ignore it or even seek to dissolve it. I do not think so. Second, if this is criminal contempt and the teen was under the jurisdiction of the court, did the teen also commit a crime of contempt? Third, if the lawyers were aware of the marriage, are they also in contempt? Finally, since the teen is now legally adult, does that mean that there can no longer be a child support award?

While the marriage is entirely lawful under Nevada law, the court presumably barred either parent from materially changing the status of the child pending final resolution of the case. Yet, this is a grey area where the child is emancipated by his own choice and a parental signature. The question is whether the court could bar the father from signing off on the marriage if informed. There is no question that he should have informed the court, but could the court order him not to sign? Clearly the court could issue such an order in other aspects of a minor’s life like permitting the child to go to camp, boarding school etc.

It is not clear if any of these questions will be answered in light of the jailing. Presumably, after being released, Rotta will be able to finalize his divorce.

Rotta made millions off the “grey market” for Seiko watches.

Source: Palm Beach Post

25 thoughts on “Something Did Not Stay In Vegas: Florida Father Jailed For Contempt in Consenting To 16-Year-Old Son To Marry

  1. Unless he was specifically ordered not to consent to his son’s marriage to a woman (who is of age) then there is not contempt. The judge is in contempt of his job. Maybe the wife is knocked up. Maybe the dad believes in the concept of 18 up and out. Only he has revised it down to 16. Does the law in Nevada allow the marriage of a 16 year old with the consent of his parent? If so, Nevada law prevails over some other state. We live in sovereign states not Principalities. The judge is an ass. Dogs ought to single him out and poop in his yard.

  2. Good thing sonny boy did not go off to Utah for boarding school. He would end up with Five Wives and no vodka.

  3. Seems like an appeal should be coming. I’m with BarkinDog on this one. I don’t see how an entirely legal marriage can constitute contempt unless there was a court order not to get married in another state. And even if there was, that order would probably be void as intruding on the sovereignty of other states. The judge is just mad his system got beat…

  4. I suppose he is used to doing things his own way…… Gray market seikos….Interesting ……. I guess he’ll do time his way……

    It is my understanding that marriage like emancipation you are legally an adult and child support will cease….. I don’t see how the child can be held in contempt…… The dad’s contempt is questionable on many front……. If the attorneys in the divorce knew….. You might have a better case of thwarting a court order….. A lot revolves around what they knew…. I presume a gal was appointed…..more questions than answers…..

  5. Sounds like a clever if drastic scheme for the lad to get his own way, presuming the kid bought in to the scheme in the first place and so had his own reasons for doing so, like he didn’t fancy Utah or Mormonism or something, rather than was coerced by his dad.

  6. The way I understand it contempt of court is a hard thing to fight. A judge could find you in contempt for wearing mis-matched socks if he wanted to, and only be answerable to a higher court for being a jerk.

    I don’t know what the situation is between the teen and his wife, but I have to tell you when I was sixteen if there was someone I was *allowed* to have sex with pretty much whenever we were both in the mood I wouldn’t be living apart from her. Makes me wonder if they weren’t killing two birds with one stone. The wife is mentioned as “Columbian born”, does anyone know if there’s an immigration rule about newly adult children of legal immigrants/resident aliens that might come into play here?

    And grey market Seikos? If I’m going to buy a watch that “fell off the back of the truck” then it’s going to be a Rolexxx and not a Seiko. ;-)

  7. BarkinDog, contempt is what judges do when they can’t get you charged with a crime but they’re really mad.

  8. Son caught between divorcing parents. Mom concerned for the son; dad concerned with being in charge.

    “The charge: contempt of court, a Miami-Dade judge ruled. Rotta had been ordered by the court to take his son to a Utah boarding school, but instead the dad took him to Sin City for the marriage, which “emancipated” the troubled teen from the court’s oversight.”

    The school also does not take married students.

    You-all can discuss the legal questions. My take: The dad is contemptible. The son will continue to have problems that will become more serious, exacerbated by dad showing him that they are above the law.

  9. FL judge order not binding on a school in UT even if he didn’t marry — no jurisdiction. Judge knows this. Legal way around it found that respects the teen’s wish to stay in FL. Judge takes out ego being hurt on dad who helps son. Judge is scum. End of story.

  10. My mother signed the one parent consent for me to join the Navy when I was 17. It was the delayed entry program. I finished high school first.

  11. Maybe the wife is knocked up. Maybe dad will be filing a habeas petition soon to overrule this judge who is way over the top. The judge needs to be removed from office and go into divorce or bankruptcy law–something reserved for the dumb schmucks like him. If wife is knocked up the child will be grateful to granpa, to his father, in laws, mother. But not the dork judge.
    Eighteen up and out. Sixteen if you can get away with it.

  12. I heard back from other dogs on the dogalogue internet. The dog pack in the judges neighborhood has been pooping in his yard and stealing his newspaper for years. He gets USA Today. What a rag. Shows he is shallow.

  13. One of the neighborhood dogs would poop in my yard, then he would bark at me when I caught him doing it.

  14. If they steal your newspaper then they are probably taking it back to their pals house and giving it to him. If he was barking at you right after the poop he was saying thanks for thanking him for the gift This dog hopes that the wife of the 16 year old is not knocked up. But if that is the case then the judge looks like a bigger putz than we thought. Some people just should not be judges. Some dogs should not be judges of people. Mostly we get it right though.

  15. In other words, he was going to be sent to Provo Canyon School, a private jail for rich parents to send their teenage children to when their teenage children start acting like… Teenage children. I’ve known a few people who were sent there; they’ve since cut all ties with their families. From the stories I’ve heard about the place, I can’t blame them.

    (“Family counseling? Nah… My own terrible behavior has nothing to do with it, everything’s my son’s fault.”)

  16. “The way I understand it contempt of court is a hard thing to fight. A judge could find you in contempt for wearing mis-matched socks if he wanted to, and only be answerable to a higher court for being a jerk.”

    Actually, the judge WOULD NOT BE ANSWERABLE to a higher court for being a jerk. He or she wouldn’t be answerable to anyone, period.

    That’s how it goes.

  17. Oh, and a prestigious judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court gave sole custody to a man who (a) admitted he was disbarred from the practice of law for conduct he excused because he was a drug addict at the time he defrauded his clients; and (b) admitted he had failed to financially support his illegitimate child for the first 12 years of her life; and (c) admitted that he pulled the underpants down on his 12-year-old daughter in order to beat her bare buttocks with a leather belt and would do it again if he thought it appropriate again; and [here’s the big one]: (d) punished his daughter for wearing mismatched socks.

  18. “While the marriage is entirely lawful under Nevada law”,

    I hope that there is a specialist here in Nevada marriage law. I would like to think that there is an obligation on the parties to be marrying for the accepted purpose of marriage; and not for (e.g.) financial gain, visa purposes, or to avoid some obligation.

    Anyone like to comment ? .

  19. The elder Rotta and his son found a terrific loophole – one that clearly should save him having to pay child support to his soon to be X, one that that his housekeeper loves as it likely will clear the way for her daughter to become a legal American citizen, one that removed a bone of contention from the divorce proceedings (the son, now an adult).

    As has been said by others, the Jurist gotz skooled! And by claiming ‘contempt’ is only highlighting this fact.

  20. Contempt is different in Federal law, at least it is supposed to be different. The PTS form for me shows I was imprisoned as a federal prisoner for civil contempt and Judge Bates ruled that there is federal civil contempt. But federal civil contempt is not discussed in the Federal Register and the Freedom of Information Act prohibits agencies from hurting people without procedure that is in the Federal Register.

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