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788. Sentencing—Effect of 18 U.S.C. § 401 on the Appropriate Fine or Imprisonment

Section 401 of Title 18 provides that a court may not both fine and imprison a contemnor for a single act of criminal contempt. In re Bradley, 318 U.S. 50, 51 (1943); United States v. Hilburn, 625 F.2d 1177 (6th Cir. 1980); United States v. DiGirlomo, 548 F.2d 252 (8th Cir. 1977); MacNeil v. United States, 236 F.2d 149, 154 (1st Cir.), cert. denied, 352 U.S. 912 (1956). This, however, does not prohibit the imposition of a fine and a term of imprisonment when both civil and criminal contempt actions are commenced in regard to the same transaction, Penfield Co. v. SEC, 330 U.S. 585, 594 (1947), with one serving as a punitive exaction and the other as a coercive or compensatory sanction. Mitchell v. Fiore, 470 F.2d 1149, 1154 (3d Cir. 1972), cert. denied, 411 U.S. 938 (1973). See United States Sentencing Guidelines, § 2J1.1.

[cited in JM 9-39.000]

Updated January 21, 2020