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Contempt is a legal term that refers to a refusal to obey a legal order, mandate, or decree that has been entered by a judge. Oftentimes, this may be a refusal to comply with a judge’s ruling at trial, i.e., to not bring up certain irrelevant facts, or refusal to pay child support payments.
There are two different types of contempt: civil and criminal. Civil contempt is generally used to convince a party to comply with a judicial order or decree. For example, suppose a judge orders a party to pay child support but that person—despite their ability to pay—willfully refuses to do so. To ensure that the judge’s order is followed, he may order that person be incarcerated until they decide to pay the ordered child support.
Criminal contempt is slightly different and is used by a judge to punish a party for a failure to comply with a court order. There are two kinds of criminal contempt, direct and indirect. Direct contempt refers to an act of contempt that is committed in the immediate presence of the court. Indirect contempt, on the other hand, is an act committed outside the court’s presence. An example of indirect criminal contempt would be attempting to bribe opposing counsel.
If you have been awarded support payments of any kind, but are not receiving them from the person who was ordered to pay them, or if the other person has failed and/or refuses to honor the court’s order, the Attorneys at Swenson Law Group can ask the court to find that person in criminal or civil contempt of court.
When a judge makes a legal ruling, it binds all of the parties involved. On occasion, however, one or the parties disregards the court’s orders or strays from the court’s intended plan. In these cases, Idaho law gives the judge the power to enforce his or her legal ruling. Two of the methods that can be used to enforce a legal ruling are “contempt” and “enforcement.” When a party in your case fails to comply with a legal order, such as payment of support, Swenson Law Group can petition the court on your behalf to use one of these measures to enforce the judgment already entered.
A contempt hearing is a legal proceeding in which someone is accused of violating a court order. The hearing determines whether the person violated the order and, if so, what the punishment is. Contempt hearings are generally held before a judge, and the person accused of contempt must be given notice of the hearing and an opportunity to defend themselves. If the judge finds that the person did violate the court order, they may be fined, jailed, or both. Contempt hearings are serious matters and can have significant consequences for the person accused.
An enforcement hearing is a court proceeding in which a person served with an enforcement order appears before a judge to explain why they have not complied with the order.
In an enforcement hearing, the person who is seeking to enforce a judgment or order (the “plaintiff”) must prove that the other person (the “defendant”) has failed to comply with it. The plaintiff must also show that the defendant can pay the amount owed. The purpose of an enforcement hearing is to give the person an opportunity to explain why they have not complied with the order and to allow the judge to decide whether or not to enforce the order.
If the judge decides to enforce the order, they may impose various penalties on the person, including jail time, fines, or community service. If you have been served with an enforcement order, it is important to appear at the hearing and explain your side of the story. If you do not appear at the hearing, the judge may issue a warrant for your arrest.
When a party in your case fails to comply with a legal order, such as payment of support, Swenson Law Group can petition the court on your behalf to use one of these measures to enforce the judgment already entered. Contact us today.