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Civil Contempt

Civil Contempt

This lesson will address a court’s use of civil contempt to enforce an equitable judgment, including who can be held in contempt and limitations on the contempt power.


After a trial court has rendered an equitable order, such as an injunction or specific performance of a contract, the defendant’s legally obligated to comply with the court’s order. If the defendant’s unwilling to comply, the plaintiff may request that the court enforce the equitable decree through a variety of ancillary equitable remedies. The most common ancillary equitable remedy is the court’s contempt power.

Two lessons will address the court’s contempt power, beginning with this...