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Contempt of Court Questions

What is contempt of court?

Contempt of court is an order placed by the court declaring that a person or entity has shown disrespect or has disobeyed the court's order or authority. Contempt of court allows the judge to punish a person for actions that disrupt the normal court process. There are different forms of contempt of court. A few examples of contempt are disrespecting a judge, failure to follow a court order, disruptive behavior in a court room, or exposing materials that could potentially affect the outcome of a trial. Below are answers provided by Experts to some of the more commonly asked questions about contempt of court.

When asking for a Motion for contempt of court, what should the order say? I am in serious trouble with the court due to a person lying.

To file a Motion for Contempt of Court for lying, you want the court to find someone in contempt of a court order. This holds true for someone who has lied under oath. You will need to file the motion and add a copy of the court transcript that has the lies of the person. It is then up to you to prove that the statements were false. Using these facts, you would ask the court to find the person in contempt of court.

The person could face jail time and/or be made to comply with the original court order. If you can show that the person lied under oath, it may be possible for the prosecution to bring criminal charges against the person for perjury. The prosecutor would have to determine whether or not to press charges.

How do I file contempt of court charges against my ex for not following orders in the divorce decree?

If your former spouse doesn't follow the terms of your divorce decree, you could ask the courts to compel the former spouse to conform to the original agreement. This is a rather easy motion to petition. You will need the case number of the original divorce and you need to list the reason that you wish the court to compel your former spouse to comply. If the court compels the spouse to comply and the spouse doesn't, then the court can find the former spouse in contempt of court. The penalty that the person will receive will depend upon the court and the severity of the case.

I have been charged with civil contempt of court in Illinois for failure to comply with agreement with a bank note. What can I expect at the court appearance?

More than likely, the bank will ask the court to apply your bond money towards the judgment. Also, the court will want to see evidence of your attempts to comply with the agreement with the bank.

If the judge feels that you are not attempting in good faith to comply with the court order, he/she may place you in jail until you do comply. Basically, in a civil matter, you are the one who decides whether or not you go to jail. As long as you comply with the court order, you stay out of jail. If you fail to comply with the order, you face possible jail time until you comply with the order.

I was arrested for contempt of court two weeks ago and given a court date in a small claims case. What do I need to do for this court date?

It is possible that the person who filed the small claims suit has managed to get a post judgment hearing and wants to find assets and threaten you with contempt of court. If you want to pay the debt off, you should contact the other party or their attorney. If you don't wish to pay the debt, you will have to appear in court with any information that the other party has requested. In order to find out what the purpose of the hearing is, you can read the court's file.

It is possible that the other party will drop the contempt of court charges if you can pay the debt off. If not, you have no choice but to appear in court with the information that they have requested.

Can I have a spouce's assets frozen until my Contempt of Court case is heard?

Case Details: I filed a Contempt of Court charge against my former husband because of the money he owes me out of our property settlement agreement. The hearing is next week. But last week he moved out of the state, and is trying to purchase a condo.

You would need to petition the court for an emergency injunction on your former spouse’s assets in order to block the purchase. If you don't get the injunction before he purchases the condo, the court that you file the contempt of court motion cannot put a lien on it or place any orders toward it. You need to claim that he is trying to discount the court's ability to decide on an issue.

Contempt of court is a serious offense and the penalty for it can vary depending on the nature of the offense and the details of the case. It is always best to be well informed of your obligations towards a court order. This may not always be clear and can result in questions. If you have any questions of your own regarding contempt of court, you could ask a Lawyer to assist you and answer your questions.
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