contempt | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Law

In the legal context, contempt refers to disobeying a court order or disregarding the court’s authority. Contempt of court can take many forms, including failing to appear in court as required, disrupting court proceedings, or disobeying a court order.

Contempt of court is a serious matter, as it undermines the authority and integrity of the judicial system. A person who is found to be in contempt of court may face fines, imprisonment, or other penalties, depending on the severity of the contemptuous conduct and the jurisdiction in which it occurs.

In some cases, contempt of court may be punished summarily, meaning that the judge has the authority to impose a punishment on the spot without needing a separate hearing. In other cases, a person may be found to be in contempt of court after a hearing in which they are given an opportunity to defend themselves.

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Last Modified: 01/08/2023


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