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What Is a Contempt Motion?

A court proceeding must be respected at all times by all those involved—the litigants, the lawyers, the officers, and the audiences. Officers of the court must be given due respect by all those who appear before them. When a court proceeding is interrupted or some form of disrespect was made, a person can be accused of contempt of court and a contempt motion can be filed against him or her.

Contempt of court can be in many forms. All such forms essentially involve violating the respect that is due to a court of law and its officers. This respect is demanded out of common courtesy and due to the fact that all officers of a court of law and the court itself are considered to be legal authorities. In the event that a person commits some form of disrespect towards the court or its officers has been committed, the person compromises the dispensation of justice. This could lead to a possible mistrial or compromise the integrity of the trial itself.

As aforementioned, contempt of court can take many forms. One of these forms involves the inability or failure to follow a court order. The only way to resolve this issue immediately is to obey the court order. This is referred to specifically as a civil contempt of court. A person can be charged with this if he or she speaks out of turn while legal proceedings are currently being undertaking. This is in contrast to criminal contempt of court wherein a person or party actually prevents the court proceedings from continuing. For example, withholding evidence despite having received a court summons to produce it.

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