BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
Greeneville attorney Duncan C. Cave, 34, of 106 Parkwood Circle, was released from custody at the Greene County Detention Center on Friday morning.
Cave said he turned himself over to the head of courthouse security, Deputy Charles Morelock, on Wednesday after receiving word of a warrant on charges of contempt of court and failure to appear.
The order of contempt, issued by Circuit Court Judge Kindall T. Lawson, called for Cave to be "incarcerated until he has complied with the court's order or clearly demonstrates to the court willingness to comply."
"Nobody is excused from the Rules and Orders of the Court, which includes attorneys who serve as officers of the court," Cave said in an emailed statement after his release Friday.
"I spent two nights in jail until I was finally able to secure a pen and paper to hand- write an order from my jail cell to submit to the Court through Circuit Court Clerk Pam Venerable, which secured my release on the morning of Nov. 16, 2012.
"While the Holiday Inn would have been my preference, I have to commend not only the court, but also Sheriff (Steve) Burns and the deputies who manage the Greene County jail for doing an outstanding job running the jail like clockwork.
"I also commend the Greene County Courthouse security, including Deputy Charles Morelock, who do nothing less than an exceptional job providing security at the Greene County Courthouse."
RELATED TO CUSTODY CASE
The arrest charges were in connection with a custody case in Greene County Circuit Court in which Cave had represented John Pichichero in court proceedings with his ex-wife, Julia Pichichero.
Julia Pichichero said in a telephone interview on Thursday that she is on permanent disability and had filed a request for the court to recalculate her child support payments as a result of her financial situation.
According to a show-cause order issued against Cave on Sept. 12, the court ordered the attorney to recalculate the child support on Nov. 28, 2011.
The show-cause order commanded Cave's appearance in Circuit Court at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
Cave failed to appear.
His absence resulted in the order of contempt for "continually and willfully failing to comply with an order of the court and failure to appear after having been cited to show cause as to why he should not be held in contempt and failure to appear."
'DIDN'T GET ORDER DRAFTED'
He was a partner in The Cave Law Firm, PLLC, of Greeneville and Kingsport, until August of this year. He is now in a solo law practice.
In the Cave firm, he practiced law with his father, Robert Payne Cave Sr., and his two brothers: Robert Payne Cave Jr. and Jonathan Sevier Cave.
Cave's statement to The Greeneville Sun on Friday indicated that this separation from the law firm may have played a role in his failing to submit the order.
"The local rules of the Third Judicial District require a party to submit an order within days of a hearing," he said.
"While I can come up with a thousand excuses, including the most recent split from The Cave Law Firm, PLLC, and the corresponding loss of communications in the ensuing melee, the bottom line is, I did not get the order drafted and submitted in a timely manner," Cave said in the statement.
"Judge Lawson did exactly what he is supposed to do, with the consequences being a fine or jail time or both for being in contempt of court," Cave added.
"All Third District Circuit Judges -- Judge Lawson, Judge (Tom) Wright, Judge (John) Wilson, and Judge (John) Dugger -- are tough, but they are fair.
"I do not recommend stepping on the Court's toes, whether accidental, intentional or otherwise."
Cave was one of four candidates for the Republican nomination for 5th District State Representative in the Aug. 2 Republican primary, but did not win.
He ran a distant fourth, with 665 votes, compared with incumbent Rep. David Hawk's 3,093. Hawk won the primary race.
Cave was also an unsuccessful candidate for Greeneville alderman in 2010.
A former Greeneville High School athletic standout, he was inducted into the GHS Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.