The judge in the Matter of Richard
"The trial court asked Richard if he had an attorney. Richard replied that he did not have an attorney. The trial court admonished Richard as follows: "You're entitled to an attorney. And if you're too poor to afford an attorney, I decide that you're indigent and have one appointed to represent you." The trial court stated that they were going to take a break and informed the parties that the motion for enforcement would be taken up before a motion for protective order that was also before the trial court. Without inquiring about Richard's ability to employ counsel, the trial court instructed Richard to sit down and instructed the bailiff not to let Richard leave.
After a brief recess, the movant testified that Richard had been ordered to pay $600 per month in child support and $300 per month on an arrearage judgment, but that Richard had not paid from July 1, 2010 through April 1, 2011. The trial court placed Richard under oath. Richard admitted that "I have fallen far behind on my child support payments[,] for the last year and a half or more I've been either unemployed or underemployed." Richard stated that "It's not an act of defiance. I'm not standing here trying to prove a point to anybody. I just simply can't afford it. And then to be put further and further back with all these court proceedings. That's why I'm here representing myself, Your Honor. I cannot simply afford even that." (Emphasis added)."
Ultimately Richard was taken into custody into custody and jailed.
Bailiff education is needed.