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. “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 ? .

  2. 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.

  3. 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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