CLE Publications

Contempt Actions in the Probate and Family Court: Cut and Dry?

Electronic Publication (PDF version)

Although rare in other branches of the Trial Court, complaints for contempt are a frequently used tool in the Probate and Family Court to enforce compliance with temporary orders to final judgment. From determining whether a contempt action exists, to filing your complaint, onto final judgment, family law practitioners must be comfortable navigating the various procedural rules and substantive issues. What used to be cut and dry in prosecuting a complaint for contempt, is now subject to new standards based on recent case law. 

Take advantage of this opportunity to hear from First Justice Angela M. Ordoñez , Judge John D. Casey and Chief Probation Officer Paul Brian Quinn as they discuss  the specific elements of a complaint for contempt; the plaintiff and defendant’s respective burdens of proof; available defenses and the possibility of a “counterclaim” for contempt;  whether (and what) discovery is available; when the court is able to modify the underlying judgment; and pursuing attorneys fees and/or statutory interest.

Sponsoring Sections:

Family Law Section

Young Lawyers Division

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Published: February 2, 2012

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Publication: Contempt Actions
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