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