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Maryland Civil Contempt Of Court

JC Law Attorney Team

Enforce previous court decrees – or defend against bad ones – to guarantee a fulfilling life for you and your loved ones.

What Does ‘Contempt Of Court’ Mean?

Maryland courts make decrees and orders all the time. A judge or Court representative can order someone to show up for a hearing, offer documents as part of an investigation, or pay another party a set sum.

Anyone who fails to follow a court order or directive is “held in contempt of court.” Cases that may be considered contempt of court include:

Punishments for contempt of court range from simple fines to years’ worth of jail time, depending on the circumstances.

How Can You Enforce A Court Order?

Courts are extremely backed up, especially considering the COVID-19 outbreak that closed courts for months. They may not realize someone is in contempt of a court order or decree if not notified by the offending party.

Therefore, you or your lawyer can file a “motion for contempt of court.” This request for legal action by the court alleges that the offending party has broken the court-ordered agreement.

As part of the motion, your lawyer can also submit documents and other proof to the Court to support your claim. This evidence may be:

  • Proof of good-faith efforts to collect court-ordered payments
  • Demonstrated reminders and offered help to attend court-ordered hearings
  • Dated receipts showing excessive spending from accounts ordered untouched

Your lawyer can best advise how to proceed with a motion for contempt of court to protect your and your family’s rights.

How Can You Fight A Contempt Of Court Charge?

Contempt cases are rarely black-and-white. People who find themselves accused of contempt of court may not have meant to violate court orders, but instead:

  • Lost their jobs and failed to tell the court about their change in circumstances
  • Made every effort to attend court hearings and meetings, but could not do so due to circumstances outside of their control
  • Accidentally messed up the process and legal protocols

People are flawed human beings who deserve respect, compassionate understanding, and competent defense.

If you find yourself the target of a contempt of court charge, the last thing you want to do is dismiss it as unimportant – even if what it asserts is wrong. By ignoring a contempt of court allegation, you will dig yourself into a deep legal hole which will require much time and financial resource to get out of.

Immediately consult with a lawyer as to what you should – and should not – do in the face of a contempt of court charge, and be prepared to demonstrate your willingness to abide by the court’s decisions however your legal representation advises you to do so.

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