Tests for Distinguishing Between Civil and Criminal
ContemptNature of Relief Sought
A contempt is criminal when punishment by way of fine or
is deemed imperative to vindicate the authority of the court. In contrast,
contempt is remedial rather than punitive, serves only the purpose of the
litigant, and is intended to coerce compliance with an order of the court or
compensate for losses or damages caused by noncompliance. See
Shillitani v. United States, 384 U.S. 364, 368-70 (1966); Nye v.
States, 313 U.S. 33, 42 (1941); Gompers v. Bucks Stove and Range
221 U.S. 418, 442 (1911); Falstaff Brewing Corp. v. Miller Brewing
702 F.2d 770 (9th Cir. 1983); In re Rumaker, 646 F.2d 870 (5th Cir.
United States v. Powers, 629 F.2d 619 (9th Cir. 1980); United
v. North, 621 F.2d 1255 (3d Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 449 U.S.
(1981); Carlson Fuel Co. v. United Mine Workers, 517 F.2d 1348, 1349
[cited in USAM 9-39.000]