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753. Elements of the Offense of Contempt

There are four essential elements under 18 U.S.C. § 401(1). They are: (1) misbehavior of a person; (2) in or near to the presence of the court; (3) which obstructs the administration of justice; and (4) which is committed with the required degree of criminal intent. United States v. McGainey, 37 F.3d 682, 683 (D.C. Cir. 1994).

An attorney is not an "officer" of the court for purposes of §  401(2). In re Halloway, 995 F.2d 1080 (D.C. Cir.), cert. denied, 114 S.Ct 1537 (1993).

There are three essential elements under 18 U.S.C. § 401(3). They are: (1) there must be a violation; (2) of a clear and reasonably specific order; and (3) the violation was willful. United States v. Nynex Corp., 8 F.3d 52, 54 (D.C. Cir. 1993).

When distinguishing between types of contempt there are two broad categories: criminal versus civil, and direct versus indirect.

[cited in JM 9-39.000]

Updated January 21, 2020