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Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
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I just went through a nasty divorce where the judge ordered

Resolved Question:

I just went through a nasty divorce where the judge ordered me to pay a second mortgage as well as produce items the wife said I had which I do not have. The judge does not believe me. I am unemployed and broke. What is the maximum time they could put me in jail for contempt?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 6 years ago.



Basically, a Court has full inherent discretion to dish out any penalty, as long as it is not cruel or unusual. So there is not max


Rule 107. Remedial and Punitive Sanctions for Contempt

(a) Definitions. (1) Contempt:Disorderly or disruptive behavior, a breach of the peace, boisterous conduct or violent disturbance toward the court, or conduct that unreasonably interrupts the due course of judicial proceedings; behavior that obstructs the administration of justice; disobedience or resistance by any person to or interference with any lawful writ, process, or order of the court; or any other act or omission designated as contempt by the statutes or these rules.

(2) Direct Contempt: Contempt that the court has seen or heard and is so extreme that no warning is necessary or that has been repeated despite the court's warning to desist.

(3) Indirect Contempt: Contempt that occurs out of the direct sight or hearing of the court.

(4) Punitive Sanctions for Contempt: Punishment by unconditional fine, fixed sentence of imprisonment, or both, for conduct that is found to be offensive to the authority and dignity of the court.

(5) Remedial Sanctions for Contempt: Sanctions imposed to force compliance with a lawful order or to compel performance of an act within the person's power or present ability to perform.

(6) Court: For purposes of this rule, "court" means any judge, magistrate, commissioner, referee, or a master while performing official duties.

(b) Direct Contempt Proceedings. When a direct contempt is committed, it may be punished summarily. In such case an order shall be made on the record or in writing reciting the facts constituting the contempt, including a description of the person's conduct, a finding that the conduct was so extreme that no warning was necessary or the person's conduct was repeated after the court's warning to desist, and a finding that the conduct is offensive to the authority and dignity of the court. Prior to the imposition of sanctions, the person shall have the right to make a statement in mitigation.

(c) Indirect Contempt Proceedings.When it appears to the court by motion supported by affidavit that indirect contempt has been committed, the court may ex parte order a citation to issue to the person so charged to appear and show cause at a date, time and place designated why the person should not be punished. The citation and a copy of the motion, affidavit and order shall be served directly upon such person at least twenty days before the time designated for the person to appear. If such person fails to appear at the time so designated, and it is evident to the court that the person was properly served with copies of the motion, affidavit, order, and citation, a warrant for the person's arrest may issue to the sheriff. The warrant shall fix the date, time and place for the production of the person in court. The court shall state on the warrant the amount and kind of bond required. The person shall be discharged upon delivery to and approval by the sheriff or clerk of the bond directing the person to appear at the date, time and place designated in the warrant, and at any time to which the hearing may be continued, or pay the sum specified. If The person fails to appear at the time designated in the warrant, or at any time to which the hearing may be continued, the bond may be forfeited upon proper notice of hearing to the surety, if any, and to the extent of the damages suffered because of the contempt, the bond may be paid to the aggrieved party.If the person fails to make bond, the sheriff shall keep the person in custody subject to the order of the court.

(d) Trial and Punishment. (1) Punitive Sanctions. In an indirect contempt proceeding where punitive sanctions may be imposed, the court may appoint special counsel to prosecute the contempt action. If the judge initiates the contempt proceedings, the person shall be advised of the right to have the action heard by another judge.At the first appearance, the person shall be advised of the right to be represented by an attorney and, if indigent and if a jail sentence is contemplated, the court will appoint counsel. The maximum jail sentence shall not exceed six months unless the person has been advised of the right to a jury trial.The person shall also be advised of the right to plead either guilty or not guilty to the charges, the presumption of innocence, the right to require proof of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt, the right to present witnesses and evidence, the right to cross-examine all adverse witnesses, the right to have subpoenas issued to compel attendance of witnesses at trial, the right to remain silent, the right to testify at trial, and the right to appeal any adverse decision. The court may impose a fine or imprisonment or both if the court expressly finds that the person's conduct was offensive to the authority and dignity of the court. The person shall have the right to make a statement in mitigation prior to the imposition of sentence.

(2) Remedial Sanctions. In a contempt proceeding where remedial sanctions may be imposed, the court shall hear and consider the evidence for and against the person charged and it may find the person in contempt and order sanctions. The court shall enter an order in writing or on the record describing the means by which the person may purge the contempt and the sanctions that will be in effect until the contempt is purged. In all cases of indirect contempt where remedial sanctions are sought, the nature of the sanctions and remedies that may be imposed shall be described in the motion or citation. Costs and reasonable attorney's fees in connection with the contempt proceeding may be assessed in the discretion of the court. If the contempt consists of the failure to perform an act in the power of the person to perform and the court finds the person has the present ability to perform the act so ordered, the person may be fined or imprisoned until its performance.

(e) Limitations. The court shall not suspend any part of a punitive sanction based upon the performance or non-performance of any future acts. The court may reconsider any punitive sanction. Probation shall not be permitted as a condition of any punitive sanction. Remedial and punitive sanctions may be combined by the court, provided appropriate procedures are followed relative to each type of sanction and findings are made to support the adjudication of both types of sanctions.

(f) Appeal. For the purposes of appeal, an order deciding the issue of contempt and sanctions shall be final.

Source: Entire rule amended and adopted, January 26, 1995, effective April 1, 1995; (b) corrected and effective, June 15, 1995.

Cross references: For failure to comply with deposition order, see C.R.C.P. 37(b)(1); for practicing law without a license, see § 12-5-101; for disobedience of writ of habeas corpus by jailer, see § 13-45-113; for disobedience of a witness before a proper officer or the court, see § 13-90-111; for acts made contempt by statute for failure of personal representative, guardian, or conservator to comply with court orders, see § 15-12-722; for refusal to answer questions of the assessor concerning taxable property, see § 39-5-119.



I. General Consideration.
II. Definition.
A. In General.
B. Misbehavior.
C. Disobedience of Court Orders.
III. Direct Contempt.
IV. Indirect Contempt.
V. Trial and Punishment.




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Edited by Samuel-II on 12/2/2010 at 5:52 PM EST
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