Obtained a writ of habeas corpus because the trial court erroneously ruled "ability to pay" was not required in a contempt proceeding seeking to enforce a support obligation.
We find the petition has merit. The court was required to consider petitioner's ability to pay. (Moss v. Superior Court (1998) 17 Cal.4th 396, 401; Mery v. Superior Court (1937) 9 Cal. 2d 379, 380-381.) Here, the court stated: "my decision here isn't supposed to be his-necessarily his ability to pay these debts . . . ." This was error.
Accordingly, we grant the writ, annul the contempt order, and vacate the order requiring petitioner to pay Jeanette Baker's attorney's fees. (Arthur v. Superior Court (1965) 62
Cal.2d 404, 409.)