Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
Behaviour in or out of court that violates a court order, or otherwise disrupts or shows disregard for the court. Refusing to answer a proper question, to file court papers on time or to follow local court rules can expose witnesses, lawyers and litigants to contempt findings. Contempt of court is punishable by fine or imprisonment.
n. there are essentially two types of contempt: a) being rude, disrespectful to the judge or other attorneys or causing a disturbance in the courtroom, particularly after being warned by the judge; b) willful failure to obey an order of the court. This latter can include failure to pay child support or alimony. The court’s power to punish for contempt (called “citing” one for contempt) includes fines and/or jail time (called “imposing sanctions”). Incarceration is generally just a threat and if imposed, usually brief. Since the judge has the discretion to control the courtroom, contempt citations are generally not appealable unless the amount of fine or jail time is excessive. “Criminal contempt” involves contempt with the aim of obstruction of justice, such as threatening a judge or witness or disobeying an order to produce evidence.
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This glossary post was last updated: 27th April, 2020 | 2 Views.