It can be an extremely emotional and frustrating when one party fails or refuses to comply with a court order; but we at Butash & Donovan can help. If the other party fails to adhere to an order of the court, he or she could face serious consequences, including, but not limited to contempt and enforcement actions.
Contempt of Court
Contempt of court occurs when a party willfully fails or refuses to obey an unambiguous court order. There are four different types of contempt of court in Florida, namely direct civil contempt, indirect civil contempt, direct criminal contempt, and indirect criminal contempt. The differences between civil contempt and criminal contempt are based upon the actions or behavior of the person violating the court order (the “contemnor”) and the purpose of the sanction (penalty) used. Florida Statute §38.22 gives the court broad discretion in determining when and how to use civil and criminal contempt.
Civil contempt is used to coerce or force the contemnor to compensate the other party in some way, through the payment of money or the performance of an act. Direct civil contempt is based upon actions that take place in the presence of the court, while indirect civil contempt is based upon actions that occur outside the presence of the court.
The purpose of criminal contempt is to punish the party who is in violation of the court for their defiance of, interference with, or obstruction of the administration of justice. Courts use criminal contempt to preserve and protect the power and dignity of the court through incarceration (jail time) or some other means. Direct criminal contempt is based upon actions that take place in the presence of the court, while indirect criminal contempt is based upon actions that take place outside the presence of the court.
We at Butash and Donovan are experienced at representing clients facing the potential of being held in contempt, as well as those seeking to have the other party held in contempt. If you have a contempt issue, then please contact us immediately so we can explain how we can assist you in your legal matter and maximize the likelihood that you will achieve your desired outcome.