1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Judiciary
  4. Article 19: Contempts


Section 751 Punishment for criminal contempts

Judiciary (JUD)

1. Except as provided in subdivisions (2), (3) and (4), punishment for a contempt, specified in section seven hundred fifty, may be by fine, not exceeding one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment, not exceeding thirty days, in the jail of the county where the court is sitting, or both, in the discretion of the court. Where the punishment for contempt is based on a violation of an order of protection issued under section 530.12 or 530.13 of the criminal procedure law, imprisonment may be for a term not exceeding three months. Where a person is committed to jail, for the nonpayment of a fine, imposed under this section, he must be discharged at the expiration of thirty days; but where he is also committed for a definite time, the thirty days must be computed from the expiration of the definite time.

  Such a contempt, committed in the immediate view and presence of the court, may be punished summarily; when not so committed, the party charged must be notified of the accusation, and have a reasonable time to make a defense.

  2. (a) Where an employee organization, as defined in section two hundred one of the civil service law, wilfully disobeys a lawful mandate of a court of record, or wilfully offers resistance to such lawful mandate, in a case involving or growing out of a strike in violation of subdivision one of section two hundred ten of the civil service law, the punishment for each day that such contempt persists may be by a fine fixed in the discretion of the court. In the case of a government exempt from certain provisions of article fourteen of the civil service law, pursuant to section two hundred twelve of such law, the court may, as an additional punishment for such contempt, order forfeiture of the rights granted pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b) of subdivision one, and subdivision three of section two hundred eight of such law, for such specified period of time, as the court shall determine or, in the discretion of the court, for an indefinite period of time subject to restoration upon application, with notice to all interested parties, supported by proof of good faith compliance with the requirements of subdivision one of section two hundred ten of the civil service law since the date of such violation, such proof to include, for example, the successful negotiation, without a violation of subdivision one of section two hundred ten of the civil service law, of a contract covering the employees in the unit affected by such violation; provided, however, that where a fine imposed pursuant to this subdivision remains wholly or partly unpaid, after the exhaustion of the cash and securities of the employee organization, such forfeiture shall be suspended to the extent necessary for the unpaid portion of such fine to be accumulated by the public employer and transmitted to the court. In fixing the amount of the fine and/or duration of the forfeiture, the court shall consider all the facts and circumstances directly related to the contempt, including, but not limited to: (i) the extent of the wilful defiance of or a resistance to the court's mandate (ii) the impact of the strike on the public health, safety, and welfare of the community and (iii) the ability of the employee organization to pay the fine imposed; and the court may consider (i) the refusal of the employee organization or the appropriate public employer, as defined in section two hundred one of the civil service law, or the representatives thereof, to submit to the mediation and fact-finding procedures provided in section two hundred nine of the civil service law and (ii) whether, if so alleged by the employee organization, the appropriate public employer or its representatives engaged in such acts of extreme provocation as to detract from the responsibility of the employee organization for the strike. In determining the ability of the employee organization to pay the fine imposed, the court shall consider both the income and the assets of such employee organization.

  (b) In the event membership dues and sums equivalent to dues are collected by the public employer as provided respectively in paragraph (b) of subdivision one and subdivision three of section two hundred eight of the civil service law, the books and records of such public employer shall be prima facie evidence of the amount so collected.

  (c) (i) An employee organization appealing an adjudication and fine for criminal contempt imposed pursuant to subdivision two of this section, shall not be required to pay such fine until such appeal is finally determined.

  (ii) The court to which such an appeal is taken shall, on motion of any party thereto, grant a preference in the hearing thereof.

  3. (a) Where a union or hospital wilfully disobeys a lawful mandate of a court of record, or wilfully offers resistance to such lawful mandate, in a case involving or growing out of a violation of section seven hundred thirteen of the labor law, the punishment for each day that such contempt persists may be by a fine fixed in the discretion of the court. In fixing the amount of such fine, the court shall consider all the facts and circumstances directly related to the contempt, including, but not limited to: (i) the extent of the wilful defiance of, or resistance to, the court's mandate (ii) the impact of the strike or lockout on the public health, safety and welfare of the community and (iii) the ability of the union or hospital to pay the fine imposed; and the court may consider (i) the refusal of the union or hospital, or the representatives thereof, to submit to or comply with, the fact-finding and arbitration procedures provided in section seven hundred sixteen of the labor law. In determining the ability of the union or hospital to pay the fine imposed, the court shall consider both the income and the assets of such union or hospital.

  (b) A union or hospital appealing an adjudication and fine for criminal contempt imposed pursuant to this subdivision, shall not be required to pay such fine until such appeal is finally determined. The court to which such an appeal is taken shall, on motion of any party thereto, grant a preference in the hearing thereof.

  (c) As used in this subdivision, "union" shall mean any labor organization or company union as defined in section seven hundred one of the labor law, and "hospital" shall mean any non-profit-making hospital or residential care center as defined in that section.

  4. Where any person wilfully disobeys a lawful mandate of the supreme court issued pursuant to subdivision twelve of section sixty-three of the executive law, the punishment for each day that such contempt persists may be by a fine fixed in the discretion of the court, but not to exceed five thousand dollars per day. In fixing the amount of the fine, the court shall consider all the facts and circumstances directly related to the contempt, including, but not limited to: (i) the extent of the wilful defiance of or resistance to the court's mandate, (ii) the amount of gain obtained by the wilful disobedience of the mandate, and (iii) the effect upon the public of the wilful disobedience.

  5. Where any member of the news media as defined in subdivision two of section two hundred eighteen of this chapter, willfully disobeys a lawful mandate of a court issued pursuant to such section, the punishment for each day that such contempt persists may be by a fine fixed in the discretion of the court, but not to exceed five thousand dollars per day or imprisonment, not exceeding thirty days, in the jail of the county where the court is sitting or both, in the discretion of the court. In fixing the amount of the fine, the court shall consider all the facts and circumstances directly related to the contempt, including, but not limited to: (i) the extent of the willful defiance of or resistance to the court's mandate, (ii) the amount of gain obtained by the willful disobedience of the mandate, and (iii) the effect upon the public and the parties to the proceeding of the willful disobedience.