The United States Attorneys’ Manual is currently undergoing maintenance. If you are unable to access specific content, please contact the webmaster.

You are here

756. Tests for Distinguishing Between Civil and Criminal Contempt—Mechanical Distinction

A proceeding in criminal contempt is a separate and independent proceeding at law from the main cause, with the public on one side and the defendant on the other. Proceedings in civil contempt are usually between the original parties and are instituted and tried as part of the main cause or as a supplemental proceeding thereto. See Bray v. United States, 423 U.S. 73 (1975); Gompers v. Bucks Stove and Range Co., 221 U.S. 418, 444-45 (1911).

[cited in USAM 9-39.000]

Updated May 22, 2015