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Author Topic: Question Regarding Contempt  (Read 2272 times)

Windd

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Question Regarding Contempt
« on: Jan 06, 2007, 01:53:59 PM »
Does a charge of contempt stay on the record?

What affect does multiple charges of contempt have on any future custody proceedings?

When contempt charges are pending a “purge” what does that mean?

When person does not perform what is required to “purge” the contempt; what happens?



socrateaser

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RE: Question Regarding Contempt
« Reply #1 on: Jan 06, 2007, 03:55:29 PM »
>Does a charge of contempt stay on the record?

Yes. But, if there's no judgment of contempt, then the charge is generally inadmissible as evidence in a future proceeding.

>What affect does multiple charges of contempt have on any
>future custody proceedings?

Depends on the facts. You'll need to give me a fact pattern.

>
>When contempt charges are pending a “purge” what does that
>mean?

There are two types of contempt: civil and criminal. Civil contempt is a remedy of the court to legally coerce the contemnor into following an order. For example, if a person is ordered to answer a question asked under oath, and the person refuses, the court can toss the person in jail until he/she agrees to answer. The act of answering "purges" the contempt and releases the person from the custody of the court. In the biz, civil contempt is sometimes characterized as the act of imprisoning a person and simultaneously handing him/her "the keys to the cell."

Also, civil contempt requires proof by clear and convincing evidence, and entitles the defendant to none of the special constitutional rights provided to a criminal defendant (right to remain silent, right to appointed and effective counsel, right to reasonable bail, right to a Miranda warning, to an arraignment, fair trial, proof of guilt beyond all reasonable doubt, to be faced by accusers, to compel witnesses, etc.).

OTOH, criminal contempt is not intended to coerce cooperation from a defendant, but rather is intended to punish them for past bad behavior. A person sentenced to 10 days in jail for criminal contempt cannot say "I'm sorry" and be released. And, because the person doesn't have the keys to the jailhouse, the person is entitled to the entire pallete of constitutional protections provided by the Bill of Rights, EXCEPT for the right to a trial by jury, because that right only attaches where a person will have his personal liberty deprived for more than 6 months or where the person will be fined by the court in an amount greater than $50,000.

Usually, states have fairly strict constraints on what a judge can rule as either a remedy or punishment for contempt, So, it's usually a practical impossibility that a defendant would ever have a right to a jury trial.

>When person does not perform what is required to “purge” the
>contempt; what happens?

Either the judge issues a bench warrant to take the contemnor into custody until he/she agrees to follow the court's orders, or, you move for a charge of criminal contempt, and the judge will hold mini-criminal trial, after which if the defendant is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt, he/she will be sentenced and/or fined by the court as punishment.

As a practical matter, community service (trash pickup on the roadside or graffiti removal) is what is ordered, and sometimes a fine of up to $1,000.

Windd

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RE: Question Regarding Contempt
« Reply #2 on: Jan 08, 2007, 04:45:15 PM »
Fact pattern:
        Continually not returning child on time
        Not paying Child Support
        Not paying their share of other expenses; i.e. mandatory school fees, after school care.
        Not having any life insurance
        Not taking child to school on thier day
        Not taking child to court ordered therapist
        Calling consistently at 6:45am, 7am 8am when order states no
calls befor 9am

socrateaser

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RE: Question Regarding Contempt
« Reply #3 on: Jan 08, 2007, 06:06:18 PM »
>Fact pattern:
>        Continually not returning child on time

If, you have objective evidence, then hand slap.

>        Not paying Child Support

Unless parent can prove inability to pay, then every possible sanction including jail time, but most likely a judgment of arrears and then it's up to you to try to seize some asset.

>        Not paying their share of other expenses; i.e.
>mandatory school fees, after school care.

See above.

>        Not having any life insurance

See abovel

>        Not taking child to school on thier day

If you have objective evidence, then hand slap.

>        Not taking child to court ordered therapist

If you have objective evidence, then maybe supervised visitation.

>        Calling consistently at 6:45am, 7am 8am when order
>states no
>calls befor 9am

If you have objective evidence, then a warning that the next time it happens, he will spend a night in jail or community service.

Windd

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RE: Question Regarding Contempt
« Reply #4 on: Jan 09, 2007, 01:30:17 PM »
>What affect does multiple charges of contempt have on any
>future custody proceedings?
  (Fact Pattern requested provided)


socrateaser

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RE: Question Regarding Contempt
« Reply #5 on: Jan 09, 2007, 03:47:27 PM »
>>What affect does multiple charges of contempt have on any
>>future custody proceedings?
>  (Fact Pattern requested provided)
>
It's a judgment conclusively demonstrating that the parent has a past history of being intentionally willing to act against the child's best interests. That's pretty strong evidence against someone being awarded custody. But, it's not the whole ballgame.

 

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