Contempt of Court
Dealing With a Contempt of Court Issue?
Contempt of court cases, in a family law setting, occurs when one party or the other does not follow the court’s orders. At Plog & Stein, P.C., our Denver contempt of court attorneys recognize that court orders are to be taken seriously and that the ramifications of not following them can be costly. As such, we are ready to bring contempt actions for our clients or to defend those clients accused of being in contempt of court.
Understanding Contempt in Denver, CO
Contempt of court is governed by Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 107. Rule 107 indicates that there are two types of contempt, direct and indirect. We are here to help you understand the differences.
The difference between direct and indirect contempt include the following factors:
- Direct contempt generally relates to actions taken in the court and contempt proceedings brought by the judge. These kinds of cases are not very common.
- Indirect contempt involves contempt proceedings generally brought by one party against the other for violating the court’s order, which can be “indirectly” offensive to the court.
Contempt of court is further categorized as being either “remedial” or “punitive.” With punitive contempt, pure punishment is sought, whether fines or jail time (which can be up to 180 days). With remedial contempt, our contempt of court lawyers can help Denver clients seek an order remedying the violation of court orders.
Can I Get My Attorney Fees with a Contempt of Court Case?
In a remedial contempt situation, the person bringing the action can also seek attorney fees. In the punitive situation, they cannot. However, C.R.C.P. Rule 107 allows a person to seek both remedial and punitive sanctions in the same action. Our firm will generally approach a request to file contempt of court with the goal of seeking both remedial and punitive sanctions. That way our clients can hopefully recover some, or all, of their attorney fees upon a finding of contempt by the court.
Has Your Former Spouse Failed to Make Child Support Payments?
One of the most common areas in which contempt of court is filed in a family law case is child support. For example, one spouse in a divorce case may be required to pay $500 per month in child support but has not paid for the last several months. This is just one of the many examples or instances we have seen in which a contempt of court action is filed in a Colorado court.
For the other spouse in this instance to prove the contempt, they must show:
- That there was a valid court order
- That the other party was aware of the order
- That the other party violated the order
- That the violation of the order was willful
- That other party had/has the ability to comply with the order
Contempt of court can be very technicality laden and is taken quite seriously by most family law judges, due to the fact that jail is a possible outcome. Contempt of court cases can also be full of uncertainty, in that each judge can view the facts and Rule 107 differently. Furthermore, when one is faced with a punitive contempt or jail time, he or she may be entitled to a free attorney if the court determines that he or she cannot afford a private attorney. The right to an attorney if you cannot afford one is applicable to contempt in both divorce and child custody cases. Our legal team is ready and willing to assist you with your contempt of court needs.
Our Denver Contempt of Court Lawyers Have More Than 70 Years of Combined Experience!
Our law firm can help you with all aspects of your contempt case. With more than 70 years of combined experience within our firm, we are adept at helping our clients bring a contempt action for the other side’s failure to follow orders. Our family lawyers can also help defend you against a contempt action, and we take this defense very seriously, particularly when jail is potentially an outcome. There is nothing more valuable than your liberty. The contempt of court attorneys at our Denver firm will fight for you either way and will advise you in an honest and prudent manner in terms of how to proceed. Our goal is to make sure that you are dealt with fairly, regardless of which side of the contempt case you are on.
For the honest legal services you need for your contempt matter in Denver, CO, call our firm as soon as possible.