from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable James S. Hill, Judge.
Rath (on brief), self-represented, Bismarck, ND, defendant
Rath, plaintiff; no appearance.
Ronning Kapsner, Lisa Fair McEvers, Daniel J. Crothers,
Steven L. Marquart, D.J., Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J., Opinion
of the Court by Kapsner, Justice.
Ronning Kapsner, Justice.
[¶1] Mark Rath appeals from a district court
order denying his motion for an order to show cause. Mark
Rath asserted Kayla Rath, his former wife, should be held in
contempt for violating the terms of their divorce judgment.
The district court denied his motion. We affirm.
[¶2] Mark Rath and Kayla Rath were divorced
in January 2013. Kayla Rath was awarded primary residential
responsibility of the couple's children, and Mark Rath
was awarded supervised parenting time. This Court decided a
number of appeals stemming from their divorce. See Rath
v. Rath, 2016 ND 46, 876 N.W.2d 474 (affirming orders
denying motion for order to show cause, motion to modify
judgment, and motion for recusal); Rath v. Rath,
2015 ND 22, 861 N.W.2d 172 (summarily affirming district
court's denial of Mark Rath's motion to vacate the
judgment and grant relief); Rath v. Rath, 2014 ND
171, 852 N.W.2d 377 (affirming order denying motion to hold
Kayla Rath in contempt; reversing district court's
amendment to judgment on due process and notice grounds);
Rath v. Rath, 2013 ND 243, 840 N.W.2d 656 (affirming
order denying motion to hold Kayla Rath in contempt and
denial of request for district court judge to recuse
[¶3] The divorce judgment allows Mark Rath
to call the children each Monday and every other Friday and
Sunday between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Mark Rath asserts
Kayla Rath has failed to abide by these terms, and he filed a
motion for the district court to order Kayla Rath to show
cause why she should not be held in contempt. Mark Rath
supplemented his motion with an affidavit detailing Kayla
Rath's allegedly contemptuous acts. In the affidavit,
Mark Rath described two specific occasions--one in November
2015 and one in December 2015--on which he asserts Kayla Rath
attempted to reschedule his phone conversations with the
children. The affidavit of Mark Rath states that two weeks
before the scheduled visit in December, Kayla Rath attempted
to reschedule the time for the visit. The district court
denied Mark Rath's motion before Kayla Rath filed a
reply. The court found that Mark Rath's allegations,
accepted as true for purposes of the motion, did not warrant
a contempt finding. Mark Rath appealed.
[¶4] On appeal, Mark Rath argues the
district court abused its discretion when it found contempt
proceedings were unwarranted, and the court erred when it
denied his motion before Kayla Rath filed a reply. The
district court has broad discretion in making contempt
determinations. Sall v. Sall, 2011 ND 202, ¶ 7, 804
N.W.2d 378. This Court will only disturb a district
court's contempt determination if the court abused its
discretion. Bjorgen v. Kinsey, 491 N.W.2d 389, 395
[¶5] The district court did not abuse its
discretion when it determined Kayla Rath was not in contempt.
The district court may impose a sanction for contempt of
court under N.D.C.C. § 27-10-01.2. " [W]hen an act
punishable as contempt is not committed in the immediate view
and presence of the court, the court, upon being satisfied of
the commission of the offense, may . . . [o]rder the accused
to show ...