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752

General Definition of Contempt

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.

The power of a federal court to punish a contempt of its authority is limited by Title 18, United States Code, Section 401 to:
"(1) Misbehavior of any person in its presence or so near thereto as to obstruct the administration of justice; (2) Misbehavior of any of its officers in their official transactions; (3) Disobedience or resistance to its lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command."

[cited in USAM 9-39.000]