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Defending Yourself Against Civil Contempt of Court

Judges abuse their power daily and the use of civil contempt is one of their greatest weapons. Not becuase it is that powerful in its own right, but because people do not know how to defend themselves against its limits. If you do not speak up and demand your rights you get none - and most people don't know their rights and most lawyers will not "fight" what the judge wants. This is our legal system today, especially in the kangaroo family courts.

Contempt (Civil) is authorized to compel someone to obey a courts order in present tense. If it is in direct view of the Court or even if it is indirect view of the Court. The difference as in regard to Child Support for example the remedy of incarceration is only to Compel compliance to the Court Order, however only if you have the ability to comply and are simply not doing so. You may be held until you no longer have the ability to pay and it is grounds for immediate release. Unlike Criminal Contempt which is typically a specific term for punitive damages.
Civil Contempt is for something that is current that you may purge yourself of, while Criminal Contempt is typically for a past wrong you have committed. Under the Civil Contempt you must be provided with the option to purge yourself of the contumacious act. With regard to Child Support Enforcement, most states have it built into the statutes that Civil Contempt / Incarceration is a specific remedy for violation of the Court's order, it is not for the civil debt, it is specifically for the act of "willfully disobeying an order of the court while having the capacity to comply" even if the order is unjust, you must comply unless a stay of enforcement is granted, while you are challenging the "unjust" order.
Lary Holland

Fighting Contempt For Non-payment of Child Support

You can not be held in contempt for child support if you can not afford to pay. The burden of proof that you can afford to pay is on the other side, but judges ignore this fact every day - playing ignorant unless you bring this up.

 Contempt is supposed to be to get compliance. Jail will not get compliance. Demand immediate reduction in support amount is jailed.
 Jury trial - demand it. If criminal you have an absolute right. Civil if over $20 

Ask about jurisdiction - SJC had Common Law Jurisdiction until 1877 and exclusive jurisdiction til 1889 on divorce and custody issues. Wrong venue and jurisdiction voids all orders.

 Is the DOR there making the claim or is it your ex.  Demand the DOR be there.
 Wish I could suggest more. Not at home computer

 Right to jury trial in Contempt Cases

 BLOOM V. ILLINOIS, 88 S.Ct. 1477
 Contempt of Court is quasi-criminal, merits all constitutional protections:
 EX PARTE DAVIS, 344 SW 2d 925 (1976)



In The Court of Appeals
Case No. 98-CP-32-0098
Cheap-O's Truck Stop, Inc., Respondent,
Chris Cloyd and United Oil Marketers, Inc., Appellants.
Case No. 98-CP-32-0099

Incarceration under certain factual circumstances may be included as a component of civil contempt. Strict parameters should be placed on the use of incarceration as a part of civil contempt. In Harris-Jenkins v. Nissan Car Mart, Inc., 348 S.C. 171, 557 S.E.2d 708 (Ct. App. 2001), this Court enunciated the constitutional concernment of the use of imprisonment under the aegis and ambit of civil contempt. Harris-Jenkins annunciates:
We note and emphasize that South Carolina law does not permit a person to be held in contempt for failure to pay a civil debt, which has arisen solely out of a contractual obligation. Sanders v. Sanders, 30 S.C. 229, 9 S.E. 97 (1889). Furthermore, the Constitution of South Carolina provides "[n]o person shall be imprisoned for debt except in cases of fraud." S.C. Const. art. I 19; see also Carter v. Lynch, 429 F.2d 154 (4th Cir. 1970); Stidham v. DuBose, 128 S.C. 318, 121 S.E. 791 (1924).
Incarceration should never be imposed due to the simplistic failure of an individual to pay a civil debt. Additionally, imprisonment is not authorized for the failure to comply with a settlement agreement in the absence of fraud or bad faith.

We affirm the award of attorney's fees. However, the severity of the sanctions imposed by way of fine or possible incarceration is troubling. Consequently, we reverse the imposition of the fine and possible incarceration. Because we conclude the circuit judge may impose a fine and incarceration in this scenario, we remand to the circuit judge for the purpose of reviewing the imposition of reasonable sanctions for contempt as follows:
(1) ascertain with exactitude the financial condition of the defendants; and
(2) evaluate defendants' contumacious conduct under the general principles of Curlee v. Howle, 277 S.C. 377, 287 S.E.2d 915 (1982), and Shillitani v. U.S., 384 U.S. 364, 86 S.Ct. 1531, 16 L.Ed.2d 622 (1966); and
(3) impose sanctions that are directly and proximately connected to Cloyd's contemptuous conduct.
Irrefutably, sanctions should be imposed upon Cloyd.