New York's highest court says people who deliberately refuse to pay court-ordered child support can go to jail for consecutive six-month sentences for repeat violations.
State law generally limits Family Court to imposing single six-month sentences.
The Court of Appeals, ruling unanimously Tuesday, says Family Court can revisit jail sentences for willful violations that were previously suspended and order an offender jailed on all of them.
Those sentences can run consecutively, extending the time an offender can be locked up.
In the case of Joshua Risley, an Ulster County court found he refused to pay child support following two earlier suspended jail sentences.
Judge Michael Garcia writes that the top court in 1995 ruled that Family Court could impose three consecutive six-month sentences for three separate violations of an order of protection.