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9-39.000 - Contempt Of Court

Contempt of court is an act of disobedience or disrespect towards the judicial branch of the government, or an interference with its orderly process. It is an offense against a court of justice or a person to whom the judicial functions of the sovereignty have been delegated.

For a discussion of the law relating to civil and criminal contempt of court, see the Criminal Resource Manual

General Definition of Contempt Criminal Resource Manual at 752
Elements of the Offense of Contempt Criminal Resource Manual at 753
Criminal Versus Civil Contempt Criminal Resource Manual at 754
 
Tests for Distinguishing Between Civil and Criminal Contempt
Nature of Relief Sought Criminal Resource Manual at 755
Mechanical Distinction Criminal Resource Manual at 756
Purging Criminal Resource Manual at 757
Criminal and Civil Contempts Elements are Present Criminal Resource Manual at 758
 
Indirect Criminal Contempt
Indirect Versus Direct Contempt Criminal Resource Manual at 759
Institution of the Action Criminal Resource Manual at 760
Federal Jurisdiction and Venue Criminal Resource Manual at 761
Notice Under Rule 42(b) of the Rules of Criminal Procedure Criminal Resource Manual at 762
Probable Cause of a Willful Violation Criminal Resource Manual at 763
Necessity of a Demand for Compliance With the Decree Criminal Resource Manual at 764
Use of a Single Petition to Institute Both a Civil and Criminal Contempt Action Criminal Resource Manual at 765
Role of the Grand Jury Criminal Resource Manual at 766
Persons Against Whom the Action May Be Commenced Criminal Resource Manual at 767
Role of the Prosecutor Criminal Resource Manual at 768
 
Defenses
Negation of Essential Elements Criminal Resource Manual at 769
Statute of Limitations Criminal Resource Manual at 770
Good Faith Reliance Upon the Advice of Counsel Criminal Resource Manual at 771
Purging Criminal Resource Manual at 772
Failure to Attempt to Obtain Compliance Prior to Filing Criminal Resource Manual at 773
Violation of an Invalid Decree Criminal Resource Manual at 774
Inability Versus Refusal to Comply Criminal Resource Manual at 775
 
Consolidation for Trial of Issues in Civil and Criminal Contempt Proceedings Criminal Resource Manual at 776
Right to Counsel Criminal Resource Manual at 777
Privilege Against Self-Incrimination Criminal Resource Manual at 778
Burden of Proof in a Criminal Contempt Action Criminal Resource Manual at 779
 
Direct Contempt
Witness's Refusal to Obey Court Order to Testify at Trial Versus Witness's Refusal to Obey Court Order to Testify Before a Grand Jury Criminal Resource Manual at 780
Necessity of Warning of Contemptuous Conduct Criminal Resource Manual at 781
Summary Punishment at the End of Trial—Judicial Bias Criminal Resource Manual at 782
Certification of Judge Under Rule 42(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Criminal Resource Manual at 783
 
Least Possible Power Rule Criminal Resource Manual at 784
Jury Trial Criminal Resource Manual at 785
Public Trial Criminal Resource Manual at 786
 
Double Jeopardy Criminal Resource Manual at 787
Sentencing—Effect of 18 U.S.C. § 401 on the Appropriate Fine or Imprisonment Criminal Resource Manual at 788
Sentencing—Discretion with Respect to the Appropriate Fine or Imprisonment Criminal Resource Manual at 789
Appeal Criminal Resource Manual at 790
Updated May 12, 2015