United States Supreme Court
131 S.Ct. 2507 (2011)
A South Carolina family court entered a civil contempt order whereby Michael Turner (plaintiff) was required to pay child support to Rebecca Rogers (defendant). Over the following three years, Turner repeatedly failed to pay as ordered and was held in civil contempt on five occasions. The fifth time Turner did not pay he was sentenced to six-months in the county jail. At a subsequent contempt hearing both Turner and Rogers were not represented by counsel. There, Turner told the judge that he had been addicted to marijuana and had broken his back, but now was clean and wanted another chance to find employment and pay the ordered child support. The judge sentenced Turner to 12 months in jail. With the assistance of pro-bono counsel, Turner appealed arguing for a right to counsel when there is a likelihood of incarceration. The South Carolina Supreme Court rejected Turner’s right to counsel claim after he had completed his 12-month sentence. The court noted that civil contempt does not require all the constitutional safeguards applicable in criminal proceedings. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Breyer, J.)
Dissent (Thomas, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 240,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.