Contempt Proceedings: A Helpful Method In Imposing A Money Judgment

In 1798, Charles Wentworth was sentenced to 3 times in jail for failing to fork out his service provider on a previous thanks invoice of $.98 for the order of 3 chickens.  In 1817, Michael James was sentenced to 6 times in jail for failing to fork out his bar tab totaling $1.89.  In 1847, Ronald Henderson did not fork out $2.forty seven for grooming products and services on his horse and was sent off to prison for 3 times.  These incidents were being typically informed in regional papers as true stories of the working day.

Flash forward to 2010.  Can any one be sentenced to jail time for failing to fork out a invoice or not paying out a judgment?  Of program not.  A person are unable to be “thrown in jail” for failing to fork out a money judgment.  On the other hand, the identical does not keep true when an unique fails to comply with an enforcement proceeding in an attempt to obtain on a money judgment.

Lacy Katzen LLP’s Selection Section zealously signifies collectors in the enforcement of their money judgments and may possibly begin enforcement proceedings against a judgment debtor resulting in an arrest warrant.  The most widespread strategy utilised when other avenues of enforcement prove futile is a contempt motion.  While contempt is not obtainable to enforce a money judgment, each individual court docket in New York Point out in which a proceeding to enforce a money judgment may possibly be introduced is specially granted the suitable to punish a judgment debtor on contempt dedicated in the context of an enforcement proceeding.

For illustration, refusal or willful neglect to obey a subpoena, a restraining detect, or an order granted by the court docket demanding the judgment debtor to fork out money, is punishable as contempt.  Therefore, a judgment debtor are unable to be punished for contempt for failing to fork out a judgment, but can be held in contempt for a failure or refusal to be examined below oath when the judgment creditor is trying to enforce the judgment. The mechanism utilised for a debtor’s failure to comply with the subpoena is identified as a civil contempt motion.

The technique is somewhat uncomplicated and brief.  It is composed of a detect of motion advising the judgment debtor of the court docket date and time and the motion which is composed of an lawyer affirmation. The motion need to be served not considerably less than 10 times and no additional than 30 times prior to the court docket date.  The lawyer affirmation need to comprise factual statements describing the contempt and a recital that the judgment creditor has been prejudiced, impaired and impeded in the assortment of the judgment.

Frequently, the motion papers are served upon the judgment debtor by common mail and an affidavit of support is submitted with the court docket.

When the judgment debtor seems on the motion to punish for contempt, it is normally acknowledged follow for the judgment creditor’s lawyer to present to withdraw the motion if the judgment debtor agrees to post to an assessment.  If these types of consent is supplied, the motion is withdrawn, and the assessment proceeds either at the court docket or in creditor’s attorney’s business office.

Definitely, the best aim of the judgment creditor is for the judgment debtor to look in court docket and be examined for probable assets. The objective is for the judgment debtor to satisfy his or her judgment. On the other hand, in a lot of cases, the judgment debtor fails to look at the hearing.  Where by there is a default on the contempt motion, the court docket will indication an order fining the judgment debtor the sum of $250 additionally expenses and charges.  The high-quality may possibly be additional than $250 in which the judgment creditor is able to make a convincing showing that the real damages by explanation of the contempt are larger than that amount of money.

The fining order need to comprise a provision granting the judgment debtor go away to “purge” the contempt, generally in just 10 times immediately after particular support of the order by showing up at the judgment creditor’s attorney’s business office and subject himself or herself to remedy questions at a deposition.

If immediately after support of the order upon the judgment debtor and immediately after the necessary time passes to purge the contempt, the judgment creditor, through his or her lawyer, may possibly implement to the court docket for an arrest order.  This may possibly require another detect and motion to the judgment debtor or may possibly be completed ex parte based upon the court docket.  If there is a showing to the court docket a judgment debtor failed to purge, the court docket may possibly situation a warrant directing the sheriff to arrest the judgment debtor and carry him or her in advance of the court docket to be dedicated or for other disposition.

Ordinarily, immediately after the issuance of the arrest order, the judgment debtor is contacted by the sheriff, requesting the judgment debtor to voluntarily “flip himself in” at the sheriff’s business office on a specified date and time.  When this takes place, the attorney’s business office is notified and will look at the sheriff’s business office to dilemma the judgment debtor.

Once the judgment debtor arrives in advance of the sheriff, he or she will carry in cash to satisfy the judgment, and will make payments for the judgment amount of money, or give enough info at the deposition to garnish wages or restrain a financial institution account. In other cases, it may possibly very well be the judgment debtor does not have any assets to connect and is judgment evidence.

In summary, a contempt motion is utilised as a previous resort in imposing a judgment. It eventually gives a prosperity of info top to the payment of our clients’ judgments or confirming the judgment debtor as possessing no assets. Lacy Katzen LLP requires pleasure in representing collectors and utilizing the law to its fullest extent in imposing our client’s rights.