Contempt of Court Orders in Charlotte
While what this individual is trying to say is understandable, it should be noted that if the judge who is in charge of a case like this has not found the offending person to be in contempt of court, then that person is not "in contempt," so to speak. Rather, what we have at that point is merely "alleged contemptuous behavior in willful violation of a court order.”
What Is Contempt?
Contempt is the method by which court orders are enforced to obtain compliance with the terms and conditions of an order. Additionally, contempt may be utilized by the court to hold someone accountable for violating a court order, but then "miraculously" comes into compliance with the court order by the time the plaintiff and defendant make it to the assigned trial (also known as hearing) date.
The Contempt Process
In the case of a Motion for Contempt, either you, or your attorney, will send out a written document to your ex-spouse, or your ex-spouse‘s attorney, describing the alleged contempt and demand that the individual violating the order come into compliance with the terms of it.
This action might produce a resolution to your issue without having to file a Motion for Contempt. Even if this proves unsuccessful, you will still be able to utilize this documentation to your advantage as evidence that you made a proper demand in the event that you have to go to trial to compel compliance with your court order.
What Happens if You Are Forced to File a Motion for Contempt?
In the event you are forced to file a Motion for Contempt, either you or your family law attorney must pay careful attention to ensure that the proper elements of your request are not only set forth within your Motion for Contempt, but also proven at trial.
The steps to file a Motion for Contempt are as follows:
- First, you must allege within your Motion for Contempt and prove at trial that the other party has violated a provision of your court order.
- Second, you must allege within your Motion for Contempt and prove at trial that the other party had the ability to comply with your court order, but willfully failed to do so. (You will also need to decide at this point whether you would like to request that the court issue an order compelling the appearance of the other side at the trial and shift the burden of proof, which is called a show cause order).
- Then, you will need to decide whether you want the offending party to be found in criminal contempt or civil contempt.
- Once your Motion for Contempt is filed, you will be assigned a trial date.
Your trial date will usually be set at least 2 to 4 months after your file date. At Coggin Law, we often find there to be a greater willingness on the part of a person to negotiate once a Motion for Contempt has been filed against him/her. Therefore, you could utilize this time to negotiate with the other side to resolve the issues set forth in your Motion for Contempt.
You might even find at this juncture that the other side is willing to utilize a form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration, to find a solution in regards to the allegations set forth in your Motion for Contempt. If you are successful in crafting an amicable resolution, a consent order can be entered which will negate the need for a trial.
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