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Mark Sanford, Jenny Sanford Settle Family Court Dispute

Congressman-elect won't appear in court Thursday on trespass allegation.

Congressman-elect Mark Sanford won't appear in Charleston County Family Court Thursday on a trespassing allegation.

A Family Court clerk confirmed the contempt of court hearing had been cancelled, and the judge is withholding sentencing. See the latest court filing.

Mark Sanford in court papers admitted to trespassing at Jenny Sanford's beachfront Sullivan's Island home when he visited his son on Feb. 3 to watch the Super Bowl. He has agreed to pay his ex-wife's attorney's fees.

Jenny Sanford had alleged that the former Republican governor repeatedly entered her beachfront Sullivan's Island home without her consent. She caught him leaving the house following the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, according to a court filing. See the court filings.

Jenny Sanford had sought to close Thursday's proceedings to the public. The judge refused that request, reporters had planned to cover the hearing, which would have been similar to bench trial, said one local lawyer.

"The judge (would have been) deciding guilt on the contempt of court charge and whether (Mark Sanford) violated the previous court order," said Colleen Condon, a family court attorney and Charleston County Councilwoman.

The judge could have issued a warning, ordered community service, imposed a fine or even sentenced Sanford to jail time, though stiff penalties were not likely.

The trespassing case was not the couple's first time in family court. Records show a handful of family court appearances on various matters relating to the terms of their divorce.

"It's not unusual to go back to court at least once in these contentious types of divorces," said Condon, who does not represent either Sanford.

It's also not unusual for couples to be banned from each other's homes, Condon said. That's a typical requirement, and it's sometimes violated. Judges usually only order jail time or stiff penalty if the trespassing seems malicious or presents harm to one of the parties.

"If the judge thought the trespassing was being done in a threatening manner, jail might be a possibility," Condon said.

Mark Sanford in 2009 split with Jenny Sanford when it was revealed that he used taxpayer money to fly to Argentina to visit his mistress. The couple's divorce was finalized the next year, and Mark Sanford has since proposed to his once mistress, Maria Belen Chapur.

Chapur was at Sanford's side Tuesday when he reclaimed a seat he held in Congress in the 1990s.

The affair was widely seen as a career-ender for Sanford, who was once thought to be a contender for the White House. The revelations that he violated the terms of his divorce when he trespassed at Jenny Sanford's home nearly sidelined his political comeback.

Though donors withdrew funds, Sanford still handily won Tuesday's race in a 55 to 45 margin against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

Honus henserligenfudnacht May 09, 2013 at 02:12 PM
The Issue was kept alive by 3 stooges, who devoted their time to throw dung at Sanford in hope that some of it will stick, they only contributed to energize Sanford base hence his win with a Landslide.
john cox May 09, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Mark sanford's personal affairs were neverf an issue for me. However his lack of character and integrity, deceit, dereliction of duty, and ethics violations were. His re-election to the Congress (after repeatedly vowing to serve no more than three terms) shows that the majority of the South Carolina electorate would vote for a pile of dog excrement so long as it said it was a republican.
SAHMOM May 09, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Well that is because the dog excrement is a whole lot less then the Dino crap the democrats keep dropping!
ann May 10, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Mortals check out the democrats in washington. abortions up to 6months. day after pill to 15 year olds no parent consent . killing of our people on -9-11-2012 Oh wait what did white house say oh that happened long time ago ( MMM 8 months ago) \slaver happen a long time ago and and the freedom. ( but everyday the democrats and libs and hollywood and the main street media and people in washington ) keep using racist)that happened century ago. Ripping us off is giving millions to the brotherhood who hate america. Killers of our NAVY SEAL who got bin what ever his name was name. REALLY if your so upset democrats pass a bill where if you cheat while you are married rather husband or wife and you cheat with a married man or women . The husband or wife will give more then half of everything to the person you cheated on. and pay their medical bill due to the fact that they will have to get check for aids that you might of brought to them. The person who was the other women or man will be writing a check each month for causing heart ach to that person. If kids are involved you will be paying a check to them till they turned 18. No jail time hit where hurts the most THE POCKETS
ann May 10, 2013 at 03:18 PM
I have several friends who are DEM AHHHH yeah they do wear their (family values) on their sleeves. Didnt Jessie Jackson sr. father a child while he was married. Or after it came puplic that his wife was okay with it

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