Contempt of Court

Legal Definition and Related Resources of Contempt Of Court

Meaning of Contempt Of Court

Consists in disobedience to the court , in opposing or despising the authority , justice or dignity thereof. It commonly consists in a party ‘s doing otherwise than he is enjoined to do, or not doing what he is commanded or required by the process , order or decree of the court to do. An act or omission intending to obstruct or interfere with orderly administration of justice, or to impair the dignity of court or respect for its authority. See Louisiana state Bd. of medical Examiners v Bates, 249 So.2d 127, 258 La. 1049. contempt has been classified as: 1. direct , which is aimed expressly against the dignity or authority of the court itself in the person of its judges or officers, and in such a manner as to amount to actual or constructive insult or resistance; 2. indirect, that is, by disregarding injunctions, orders or processes of the court, or by interfering with receivers and other persons entitled to the protection or acting under the authority of the court.

Related Entries of Contempt Of Court in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Contempt Of Court in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Contempt Of Court in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Contempt Of Court in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Contempt Of Court in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

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Translate Contempt of Court from English to Spanish

Translation of Contempt of Court, with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Desacato and other legal terms is available here.

See also

Contempt in the American legal Encyclopedia
Any act meant to embarrass the court or lessen its authority and… (Read more)

Contempt of Court in the law of the United States

Contempt of Court: Related U.S. Resources

Contempt of court in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of contempt of court.


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Policeman
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading

English Legal System: Contempt of Court

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Contempt of Court : 1. (civil contempt) Disobedience to a court judgment or process, e.g. breach of an injunction or improper use of discovered documents. If the injunction is served on the defendant with a penal notice attached, breach of the injunction can result in the defendant being jailed.

2. (criminal contempt) Conduct that obstructs or tends to obstruct the proper administration of justice. At common law criminal contempt includes the following categories:

(1) Deliberately interfering with the outcome of particular legal proceedings (e.g. attempting improperly to pressurize a party to settle legal proceedings) or bribing or intimidating witnesses, the jury, or a judge.

(2) Contempt in the face of the court, e.g. using threatening language or creating a disturbance in court.

(3) Scandalizing the court by “scurrilous abuse” of a judge going beyond reasonable criticism or attacking the integrity of the administration of justice.

(4) Interfering with the general process of administration of justice (e.g. by disclosing the deliberations of a jury), even though no particular proceedings are pending.

Under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 it is a statutory contempt to publish to the public, by any means, any communication that creates a substantial risk that the course of justice in particular legal proceedings will be seriously impeded or prejudiced, if the proceedings are active. Such publications constitute strict-liability contempt, in which the intention to interfere with the course of justice is not required, but there are various special defences. It is also contempt under the Act to obtain or disclose any particulars of jury discussions and to bring into court or use a tape recorder without permission. The Act also protects (subject to certain exceptions) sources of information against disclosure in court. Contempt of court is a criminal offence punishable by a jail sentence and/or a fine of any amount ordered by the court.

Meaning of Contempt of Court in the U.S. Legal System

Definition of Contempt of Court published by the National Association for Court Management: Willful disobedience of a judge’s command or of an official court order.


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