Contempt Of Court

In order to prove contempt one must show the court, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a court order exists, the other party had knowledge of the court order, and that they did not comply with the order intentionally. If contempt of court is found, a number of different sanctions can be handed down by a court, including:

  • Payment of a sum of money sufficient to compensate a party or complainant, other than the court, for a loss or injury suffered as a result of the contempt, including an amount to reimburse the party for costs and expenses incurred as a result of the contempt;
  • Imprisonment if the contempt of court is of a type included in subdivision b,c, d, e, or f of subsection 1 of section 27-10-01.1. The imprisonment may extend for as long as the contemnor continues the contempt or six months, whichever is shorter;
  • A forfeiture not to exceed two thousand dollars for each day the contempt continues;
  • An order designed to ensure compliance with a previous order of the court; or
  • A sanction other than the sanctions specified in subdivisions a through d if the court expressly finds that those sanctions would be ineffectual to terminate a continuing contempt.

What Are The Alternatives?

  • If filing for contempt is something you’d rather not do for whatever reason, you can try the following:
  • Write to the other party involved asking him or her to comply with the requested order;
  • Have an attorney draft a certified demand letter on your behalf requesting compliance;
  • Schedule mediation in hopes that both parties can reach an agreement; or
  • Reach out to a local child support enforcement unit (“CSEU”) in your state or county to seek guidance.

Common Questions

  • What is contempt?
  • What can lead to contempt?
  • Is contempt appropriate in my case?
  • What can the court do if it finds contempt?
  • What must I show to prove that contempt has occurred?
  • How do I decide if contempt is appropriate in my case?
  • What alternatives do I have to contempt in North Dakota?
  • What are the risks of filing for contempt?
  • What is my defense after being served with a motion to hold me in contempt?
  • Do the same contempt of court laws apply to military members?
  • What is the procedure for contempt?
  • What happens at the contempt hearing?
  • What happens if the court enters a contempt order?

Contact SW&L Attorneys Today

If you need help with enforcement of court orders or if you have been served with a contempt of court motion, consider giving our law firm a call. Our lawyers represent people throughout North Dakota and understand what needs to be done when filing a motion for contempt of court as well as many other family law matters. Contact SW&L Attorneys today by calling 701-297-2890.

Greg Liebl
Greg Liebl
Benjamin Freedman
Priscila Ulloa
Priscila Ulloa