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Enforcement of Orders

Once a court issues an order, the parties subject to that order are obligated to follow it dutifully. If one or the other party refuses, then the non-violating party may bring a motion before the court asking the court to either: 1) enforce its own orders or 2) find the violating party in contempt of court and punish him/her accordingly. Punishment for contempt may include up to twenty five (25) days in jail for each violation or a fine, or both.

Where a party seeks to hold the other in contempt, that action is commenced by filing a motion for "An Order to Show Cause Why Plaintiff/Defendant Should Not Be Held In Contempt For The Commission of The Following Violations…" Once that motion is filed, a hearing date and time is set, usually within a month or two, depending on the courts calendar.

On the date of the hearing, the moving party must show a prima facie case, that is: (1) the facts alleged amount to a violation of any existing order; and (2) the Plaintiff/Defendant in fact violated that order. If that can be shown at the hearing, the Judge in the matter will then set a date for trial.

At trial, evidence will be presented and arguments made with the purpose of showing that the appropriate burden has been met and a substantial violation of a court order in fact occurred. If the Judge finds a party in contempt, the Judge may then opt to fine the violator, imprison him/her, or simply admonish him/her to follow all existing orders immediately upon pain of imprisonment.