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C&M Investment Group, Ltd. v. Campbell

Court of Appeals of Idaho

October 9, 2018

C&M INVESTMENT GROUP, LTD., and KARLIN HOLDINGS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, Plaintiffs-Respondents,
v.
NEIL DAVID CAMPBELL, individually, Defendant-Appellant, and PHILIP RICHARD POWERS, individually; POWERS INVESTMENTS AND MANAGEMENT, INC., S.A., a corporation, GUANANA GRIS, S.A., a corporation; PROTECCION FORESTAL DE TACA, S.S., a corporation; and DOES 1 through 50 inclusive, Defendants.

          Appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Blaine County. Hon. Robert J. Elgee, District Judge.

         Judgment of contempt and imposition of sanctions, affirmed.

          Neil David Campbell, Ketchum, pro se appellant.

          Lawson Laski Clark & Pogue, PLLC; Erin Farrell Clark, Ketchum, for respondents.

          LORELLO, JUDGE.

         Neil David Campbell appeals from the district court's judgment of civil and criminal contempt and sanctions. Campbell argues that the district court erred in imposing criminal sanctions because, although his civil and criminal contempt charges were consolidated for trial, once he was required to testify regarding two allegations of civil contempt during the consolidated trial, criminal sanctions could no longer be imposed. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         I.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         C&M Investment Group, LTD., and Karlin Holdings Limited Partnerhsip (hereinafter C&M) filed an affidavit alleging ten counts labeled "civil contempt" based on Campbell's failure to produce documents for a court-ordered debtor's examination and twenty-three counts labeled "criminal contempt" based on Campbell's false testimony during the debtor's examination.[1] All of the allegations were tried together in a bench trial.

         At trial, C&M called Campbell to testify in relation to its civil contempt allegations. Campbell objected, arguing that he had a constitutional right against compelled self-incrimination and that I.R.C.P. 75 afforded him the same right. The district court found that Campbell could only be called to testify regarding the civil contempt allegations but could also "probably take the Fifth" depending on the questions asked. At the conclusion of trial, the district court found Campbell guilty of two of the civil contempt allegations[2] and thirteen of the criminal contempt allegations. With respect to its findings on the criminal contempt allegations, the district court stated they were "not based in any way on Campbell's testimony during trial (which related only to the civil contempt counts)" and that it did not draw any adverse inferences from Campbell's testimony or his silence. For the civil contempt counts, the district court ordered Campbell to serve an indeterminate jail sentence until he complied with the prior court orders requiring production of documents or until the district court determined a continuing jail sentence would serve no purpose or Campbell no longer had the ability to comply. For the thirteen criminal contempt counts, the district court imposed consecutive five-day jail sentences, for a total of sixty-five days in jail. Campbell appeals.

         II.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         This Court exercises free review over questions regarding the interpretation of the Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure. Boise Mode, LLC v. Donahoe Pace & Partners Ltd., 154 Idaho 99, 103, 294 P.3d 1111, 1115 (2013). This Court also freely reviews constitutional questions. McPherso ...


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