Dukes of Hazzard's John Schneider Requests Jail Time Because He Can't Afford Alimony

Amanda Bell
John Schneider Requests Jail Time in Alimony Case

John Schneider is asking the court to restore his jail sentence following his early release.

The former Dukes of Hazzard star was sentenced to three days behind bars in the Los Angeles County Jail in June for failure to pay more than $150,000 in owed alimony payments to his ex-wife, Elvira “Elly” Schneider. The actor was released on the same day as his initial booking because of California’s overcrowded prison system, but his legal woes were not done with that.

Schneider was also ordered to serve an additional 120 hours behind bars for contempt, but that sentence was suspended by the court on the condition that he fulfill a four-part list of conditions, including filing back taxes to help clear title to their property in Apple Valley so that it could be transferred to her, paying his ex half of his owed earnings from Maven Entertainment, and offering certain financial disclosures before the end of the year.

Rather than complying with the court’s full list of conditions, however, Schneider wants to do the time.

In a July 6 letter to the judge in his case, obtained by PEOPLE, Schneider wrote that he had “regret and embarrassment” about declining the opportunity to comply with the court’s conditions but that “I am leveraged to the max” with various loans while trying to do “what I believe is ‘right’ throughout this whole process.” He went on to reveal that Maven, an independent entity, had already made several financial advances on his behalf and his earnings have thus been diminished by his indebtedness to it.

Schneider said it was “unlikely” he would be able to comply with the conditions set forth by the court to have the charge dropped, and thus avoid his three-day jail sentence, so he instead effectively asked the court to simply lock him up for the entirety of that sentence.

“I am willing and able to accept the punishment for my actions/inactions as to this matter and I request this court to impose such sentence without further delay,” he wrote.

However, we may not see Schneider fitted with cuffs again just yet. On July 17, Elvira’s attorneys filed a motion to strike the letter from the record as an unlawful ex parte communication until a hearing could be arranged and the attorneys could have the opportunity to cross-examine Schneider as to his claimed financial woes.

Schneider is expected to complete 240 hours of community service as part of his sentencing structure, whether he returns to jail or not.

The former couple split in 2014 after 21 years of marriage, when Elvira filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. She was awarded $18,911 in monthly support.