(redirected from contempt of court)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to contempt of court: civil contempt


in law, interference with the functioning of a legislature or court. In its narrow and more usual sense, contempt refers to the despising of the authority, justice, or dignity of a court. A contempt of court can be classified as civil or criminal, direct or constructive. Civil and criminal contempts are distinguished by the function of the punishment—if it is to vindicate judicial authority, the contempt is criminal; if it is to enforce the rights and remedies of a party, the contempt is civil. A direct contempt is one committed in the presence of the court while it is in session. A constructive contempt is one that is committed at a distance from the court and that tends to obstruct or defeat the administration of justice. A refusal to answer a question when directed to answer by a judge is a direct criminal contempt. Disobeying an injunctioninjunction,
in law, order of a court directing a party to perform a certain act or to refrain from an act or acts. The injunction, which developed as the main remedy in equity, is used especially where money damages would not satisfy a plaintiff's claim, or to protect personal
..... Click the link for more information.
 or a court order that a judgment (e.g., alimonyalimony,
in law, allowance for support that an individual pays to his or her former spouse, usually as part of a divorce settlement. It is based on the common law right of a wife to be supported by her husband, but in the United States, the Supreme Court in 1979 removed its
..... Click the link for more information.
) be satisfied is a civil contempt. A major distinction is whether the court needs to hear evidence to determine if a contempt was committed. Direct criminal contempts may be punished summarily by fine or imprisonment; civil and constructive criminal contempts can also be punished by fine or imprisonment, but the accused must be granted a hearing. In the United States, Congress can punish for contempt of Congress behavior that occurs during legislative proceedings and that threatens its legislative power. Congress must act before it adjourns, and any imprisonment can last no longer than that session. State legislatures also have limited powers to punish for contempt.


See C. J. Miller, Contempt of Court (1989).


wilful disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law or legislative body
References in periodicals archive ?
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan also turned down the plea wherein adjournment of the instant case was sought till the detailed judgment passed in the contempt of court cases against PML-N's Quaid Nawaz Sharif and Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique.
The petitioner Sheikh Ahsan ud Din took the plea Nawaz Sharif delivered speeches on GT roads after his disqualification by SC and crossed all the limits of contempt of court.
brOn March 13, charges would be framed Federal Minister for Privatization Daniyal Aziz over contempt of court and the threemember bench headed by Justice Azmat Saeed will hear the cases whereas State Minister for Interior Talal Chaudhry will be framed charges over contemptuous statement against judiciary and threemember bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan will hear the cases on March 14.
Previously, the minister had submitted a reply and maintained that he was never indulged in mocking the judiciary, nor could he even think of committing contempt of court.
As Aziz appeared in court, the bench observed that contempt of court by the minister can be construed after perusing transcripts of his speeches from three TV channels.
The petitioner requested that the court should initiate contempt of court proceedings against the respondents under Sections 3, 4, 5 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003, read with Article 204 of the Constitution.
According to the Express Tribune, Justice Amir Farooq approved the hearing the contempt of court case through a plea filed by petitioner Adnan Iqbal.
IHC Justice Amir Farooq approved for hearing the contempt of court case which was filed by Adnan Iqbal and made Nawaz, Maryam, Pemra and various others a party.
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Saturday issued a decision on the contempt of court case against Chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, stating that the proceedings were initiated as a result of "derogatory remarks passed in writing against the Commission".
He was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for contempt of court by the Supreme Court.
The law on contempt of court is inextricably bound to the administration of justice.
Sheriff Michael Fletcher said: "It is not a contempt of court.