The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re the Marriage of Leverett on April 26, 2012.
Dissolution of Marriage—Arbitration Award—Unconfirmed—Contempt of Court.
In this post-dissolution of marriage contempt matter between husband and wife, husband appealed from the district court’s order denying his petition for review of a district court magistrate’s judgment. The order was vacated and the case was remanded.
The district court magistrate found husband in contempt and imposed punitive sanctions against him for violating the awards of an arbitrator. Wife had not asked the district court to confirm the arbitrator’s awards pursuant to CRS §13-22-222(1).
On appeal, husband argued that the magistrate erred in finding him in contempt of court for alleged violations of unconfirmed arbitration awards. An arbitrator’s award does not become enforceable as an order of the court unless and until (1) a party makes a motion to the court for an order confirming the award, and (2) the court issues an order confirming the arbitration award pursuant to CRS §13-22-222(1). Therefore, a person cannot be held in contempt of court for violating an unconfirmed award of an arbitrator. Because neither wife nor husband made a motion to the court for an order confirming the arbitrator’s awards, those awards were not enforceable as an order of the court, and husband may not be held in contempt on that basis.
Summary and full case available here.