United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville
Jordan United States District Judge.
March 1, 2019, United States Magistrate Judge Clifton L.
Corker issued a report and recommendation
(“R&R”) [doc. 89], on the government's
pending motion for sanctions and contempt [doc. 82]. After
conducting a hearing on the motion, which Mr. Bryant failed
to attend, Judge Corker recommended that this Court find Mr.
Bryant in civil contempt based on his failure to pay the
agreed-upon amount to the government, and failure to appear
in court or respond in any way to the government's
allegations. Mr. Bryant has objected to the R&R [doc.
91], emphasizing his medical conditions and their impact on
his ability to pay. The government responded, requesting a
hearing on the matter [doc. 92].
Court held a hearing on this matter on June 12, 2019, at
which both the government and Mr. Bryant presented evidence
and argument relating to Mr. Bryant's ability to pay the
$1, 000 monthly amount. At the end of that hearing, the Court
recommended that the parties meet and confer about the
payment amount, and continued the hearing. The Court again
heard the parties on July 15, 2019, and the parties had not
reached any agreement from their meeting.
hearing the parties on this matter, and considering Judge
Corker's well-reasoned R&R, the Court will
ADOPT the R&R. The Court adopts the
R&R's factual findings, and the Court finds that the
government has shown by clear and convincing evidence that
Mr. Bryant has violated specific court orders, namely, the
agreed order requiring him to pay $1, 000 per month to the
government and the order requiring him to appear before the
Court in Greeneville. See Harrison v. Metro. Gov't of
Nashville and Davidson Cnty., Tenn., 80 F.3d 1107, 1112
(6th Cir. 1996) (holding that the initial burden is on the
movant to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that
the non-movant has violated the Court's order).
the Court finds that Mr. Bryant has not met his burden of
showing that he is presently unable to comply with the
Court's orders. See Elec. Workers Pension Tr. Fund v.
Gary's Elec. Serv. Co., 340 F.3d 373, 379 (6th Cir.
2003) (holding that, once the movant has made a showing by
clear and convincing evidence, the burden shifts to the
non-movant to show that he is presently unable to comply with
the Court's order). Accordingly, the Court finds Mr.
Bryant in contempt for failure to pay the agreed $1, 000
monthly amount to the government,  and failure to appear before
Judge Corker, or file any notice or motion with the Court
regarding that hearing.
Court has considered the appropriate sanctions in this case,
and has determined that a brief term of incarceration is the
only appropriate sanction. Mr. Bryant already owes the
government a substantial sum of money, which he has
repeatedly refused to pay, and thus, any attempt to order Mr.
Bryant to pay a fine in this matter would be
counter-productive. Moreover, in light of Mr. Bryant's
egregious behavior, the Court deems incarceration
appropriate. Mr. Bryant may not ignore orders of the Court.
As Judge Corker noted in his R&R: “The judicial
process cannot function where litigants are able to openly
mock the process. Ignoring court orders requiring him to
appear is mocking the process. Agreeing to a Court order and
then ignoring is mocking the process.” [Doc. 89 at 8].
Mr. Bryant never provided any remotely adequate explanation
for his failure to comply with Judge Corker's order, nor
his failure to work with the government if his financial
situation had changed, rather than writing bad checks for the
owed amount. Thus, the Court finds that a short period of
incarceration is an appropriate sanction
the Court OVERRULES Mr. Bryant's
objections [doc. 91], ADOPTS Judge
Corker's R&R [doc. 89], and GRANTS
the United States' motion for sanctions and for contempt
[doc. 82]. Mr. Bryant is found to be in contempt of court and
shall be imprisoned for a term of 10 days. Mr. Bryant shall
surrender to the United States Marshal at the James H.
Quillen United States Courthouse in Greeneville no later
than 12:00 p.m. on Monday, July 22, 2019. Mr. Bryant is
warned that his failure to self-report at this time will
result in additional sanctions.
Court directs the U.S. Marshal to personally serve a copy of
this Order on Bryant at his last known address at 297
Fairfield Dr. Greeneville, Tennessee 37745 or wherever he may
IS SO ORDERED.
 The Court notes that Mr. Bryant
asserts that he can no longer pay this amount. However, the
Court finds that Mr. Bryant has no excuse for his failure to
discuss his alleged change in financial circumstances with
the government, or file a motion in this Court, regarding the
payment amount, ...