Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
A litigant in an Alabama divorce case--we will call him Party A--recently was held in contempt of court and threatened with jail time if he did not catch up on his alimony.
A litigant in another Alabama divorce case--we will call him Party B--essentially was encouraged to skip his alimony and child-support payments. In fact, the same judge who dealt harshly with Party A, ignored the fact that Party B had an outstanding warrant for failure to pay alimony/child support in South Carolina.
What's the difference between the two cases? Party A has ties to Democratic politics; Party B has ties to Republican politics. Could party affiliation actually determine the outcome of divorce cases? Sure looks like it--at least in Shelby County, Alabama.
Party A is Steve Sayler, who served as finance director under former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford, who is serving a federal prison sentence for his conviction on Bush-era corruption charges. Party B is Ted Rollins, a member of the family behind Orkin Pest Control, Rollins Inc., and other enterprises. The Rollinses are one of the wealthiest families in the country, and they have a long history of support for the Republican Party.
The judge in both cases is D. Al Crowson, who has served on the bench in deeply conservative Shelby County since 1988.
According to an article in The Birmingham News, Sayler was $7,204.10 behind on his alimony payments when Crowson issued a warrant for his arrest.