“Contempt of Court” is a phrase most of us have heard at some point in our lives. What is contempt? More importantly, how do you avoid being in contempt? This blog provides a brief overview of the purposes of contempt and the different types of contempt and provides some advice on how to avoid finding yourself in contempt. The court’s power to punish for contempt is a power inherent in all courts. Indiana courts have found there are two primary purposes behind the contempt power: (1) vindication of the court’s dignity; and (2) enforcement of litigant’s rights pursuant to court orders.1 ...
October 17, 2019CD
Having a contempt petition (sometimes called a rule to show cause) filed against one in a civil or criminal case is generally unsettling. What is the purpose? Generally, civil and criminal contempt is the legal process by which trial courts enforce their orders and/or maintain decorum in the courtroom. A key and relatively recent Indiana case, Stanke,1 has refined civil contempt and it, along with the array of contempt types and proceedings, is addressed in this blog post. The first (and least common) type of contempt is direct contempt.2 This has multiple components. Most broadly, direct contempt is the stuff of ...
April 11, 2017CD
Conflict and dispute is a part of daily life. Most of the time, conflicts are resolved through means outside of court. In a very small percent of daily or even life matters, there is no ability to resolve the matter outside of a lawsuit. In this case the wonder of the US legal system comes into play. Litigants go to court and ask a judge to decide a matter. Cast in terms of emotion and winning or losing everything from children to property and freedom, it is easy to lose track of the fact the trial court judge is neutral in ...
May 27, 2015Adam Hayes
In all types of court cases, a litigant (party to the lawsuit or criminal case) may be found in contempt of court. They are two types of contempt of court under Indiana law. The first is direct contempt of court, where a party’s action in the courtroom disrupts the court. This is known as direct contempt of court and may subject the litigant to criminal action or incarceration. This not the typical type of contempt that arises in a case. Indirect contempt is what most Readers may have questions about. This type of contempt involves failure to follow a court’s orders. ...
February 5, 2015CD
Consequences for “Willful Failure” to Comply In domestic law, cases often involve the issuance of several orders by the Court for a number of different issues and reasons. For example, the court may issue orders regarding child support, finances, debt, and/or health insurance coverage during the pendency of the divorce. These orders may come down separately as the issues arise and/or be a part of the final dissolution order. Every order issued by the Court is an order the parties must follow and fulfill, or the party who does not may face a motion for contempt (or, rule to show cause as ...
July 5, 2012CD