CLE Publications

Contempt Actions in the Probate & Family Court: A Clear & Unequivocal Review of Practice & Procedure

Print Publication (paper version)

Although rare in other branches of the Trial Court, the contempt action is a fixture on the Probate and Family Court’s docket and it is, indeed, a world unto itself. From the summons, through interlocutory “orders” and onto judgment, the family law practitioner must be comfortable navigating the various procedural rules and substantive issues unique to the contempt’s corner of the domestic relations galaxy. This book goes beyond the basics of contempt practice and will delve into the following topics:

  • The Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s respective burdens of proof and the specific legal elements which the Plaintiff must establish at the contempt hearing;
  • The answer, defenses, and the availability of a “counterclaim” for contempt;
  • When, if ever, is “you can’t get blood from a stone” a valid defense?;
  • How to pursue motions for counsel fees and costs whether you are a plaintiff or defendant;
  • Modification actions and how they intersect with contempt actions; and
  • The perspective of two Plymouth Probate and Family Court judges and what they look for in each side of a contempt.


Sponsoring Sections:

Family Law Section

Juvenile and Child Welfare Section

Related Practice Areas: Divorce Law, Family Law

For more information about CLE publications, please contact MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530.

NOTE: For paper publication orders, please allow 5-7 business days for your order to be shipped.

Published: October 7, 2010

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association