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Wife files contempt lawsuit against Dukes



For the second time in two months, the estranged wife of inactive Devil Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes has filed a motion asking a judge to hold Dukes in contempt of court for not paying court-ordered child support and alimony.

According to a complaint filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court late Wednesday, NiShea Gilbert, who separated from Dukes in April, claims in the lawsuit that Dukes hasn’t paid the court-ordered monthly  payments of $2,800 in child support and $3,300 in alimony that were due on Sept. 1. Gilbert also claims in the suit the payments she received on Aug. 10 were half as much as the court-ordered amount.

Attorneys for Gilbert are asking a judge to find Dukes in contempt for willful failure to provide court-ordered temporary support to her and their two children. In July, Gilbert filed for court help when Dukes was negligent in his first payment.

“He thinks he’s above the law,” Gilbert said. “I don’t know what to say about him. I read about him coaching first base. He needs to coach himself. It’s a shame that it keeps coming to this. He’s talked about wanting to see his kids but if he wants to see his kids then follow the judge’s order.”

Dukes’ attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Though still a member of the Devil Rays, Dukes has been off the field since June 22. He was placed on the temporary inactive list in June and optioned to the minor leagues with the agreement that he will continue to receive his $380,000 major-league salary.

Gilbert sought protective order against Dukes after The Times reported Gilbert’s allegations that Dukes threatened her life and those of their children. The order bars Dukes from contacting her for a year. She has also filed for divorce.

-- Eduardo A. Encina, Rebecca Catalanello

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:32am]


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