Last modified on 18 April 2014, at 16:59

contempt of court

EnglishEdit

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NounEdit

contempt of court (usually uncountable, plural contempts of court)

  1. (law, uncountable) Open disrespect for or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law or legislative body, typically punishable by such sanctions as a fine or incarceration.
    • 1869, Charles Dickens, The Uncommercial Traveller, ch. 28:
      [T]hey never could see the Missionaries dispose of their legs in the attitude of kneeling, or hear them begin a hymn in chorus, without bursting into roars of irrepressible laughter. It is much to be hoped that no member of this facetious tribe may ever find his way to England and get committed for contempt of Court.
    • 1994, Brian Burtch, Trials of Labour: The Re-emergence of Midwifery, p. 27:
      If a researcher refused, a contempt of court order might result in incarceration of the researcher (see Hagan 1984).
    • 1996, Ward Churchill, From a Native Son: Selected Essays in Indigenism, 1985-1995:
      On the same day, Judge Walsh issued a contempt of court decree against Chair Peter McDonald and the Navajo tribal government for having failed to comply with his order to reduce Dine livestock in the JUA.
    • 2007, Helen Fenwick, Civil Liberties and Human Rights, p. 405:
      The Attorney General applied for an order for contempt of court against the New Statesman.
  2. (law, countable) A particular act of open disrespect for or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law.
    • 2011 Aug. 17, Lord Justice Hughes, "In the matter of W (a Child)," England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions (retrieved 16 April 2014):
      For my part, I am quite satisfied that there may also be consecutive or successive contempts of court constituted by repeated omissions to comply with a mandatory order positively to do something.
    • 2012 Dec. 18, "People v. Veilleux," Supreme Court of Michigan (retrieved 16 April 2014):
      When defendant committed the contempts of court at issue here, he was not at the time incarcerated in a penal or reformatory institution and he was not an escapee.
  3. (law, countable) A court order which, in the context of a court trial or hearing, declares a person or organization to have disobeyed or been disrespectful of the court's authority.
    • 2010 July 6, "Press Releases: Ministry of Defence," Press Information Bureau—Government of India (retrieved 16 April 2014):
      Certain reports have appeared in the media that the Hon’ble Delhi High Court has issued a contempt of Court against the Chief of Army Staff.
    • 2013 Feb. 19, "Stocks falter on profit-taking in telecoms," Karachi Stock Exchange—Daily Market Trend (retrieved 16 April 2014):
      There have been unconfirmed reports that the Lahore High Court has issued a contempt of court to the telecom companies for charging higher rates to international incoming callers.

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