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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Power of courts to punish for civil contempts
Judiciary (JUD) CHAPTER 30, ARTICLE 19
§ 753. Power of courts to punish for civil contempts.

A. A court of record has power to punish, by fine and imprisonment, or
either, a neglect or violation of duty, or other misconduct, by which a
right or remedy of a party to a civil action or special proceeding,
pending in the court may be defeated, impaired, impeded, or prejudiced,
in any of the following cases:

1. An attorney, counsellor, clerk, sheriff, coroner, or other person,
in any manner duly selected or appointed to perform a judicial or
ministerial service, for a misbehavior in his office or trust, or for a
wilful neglect or violation of duty therein; or for disobedience to a
lawful mandate of the court, or of a judge thereof, or of an officer
authorized to perform the duties of such a judge.

2. A party to the action or special proceeding, for putting in
fictitious bail or a fictitious surety, or for any deceit or abuse of a
mandate or proceeding of the court.

3. A party to the action or special proceeding, an attorney,
counsellor, or other person, for the non-payment of a sum of money,
ordered or adjudged by the court to be paid, in a case where by law
execution can not be awarded for the collection of such sum except as
otherwise specifically provided by the civil practice law and rules; or
for any other disobedience to a lawful mandate of the court.

4. A person, for assuming to be an attorney or counsellor, or other
officer of the court, and acting as such without authority; for rescuing
any property or person in the custody of an officer, by virtue of a
mandate of the court; for unlawfully detaining, or fraudulently and
wilfully preventing, or disabling from attending or testifying, a
witness, or a party to the action or special proceeding, while going to,
remaining at, or returning from, the sitting where it is noticed for
trial or hearing; and for any other unlawful interference with the
proceedings therein.

5. A person subpoenaed as a witness, for refusing or neglecting to
obey the subpoena, or to attend, or to be sworn, or to answer as a

6. A person duly notified to attend as a juror, at a term of the
court, for improperly conversing with a party to an action or special
proceeding, to be tried at that term, or with any other person, in
relation to the merits of that action or special proceeding; or for
receiving a communication from any person, in relation to the merits of
such an action or special proceeding, without immediately disclosing the
same to the court; or a person who attends and acts or attempts to act
as a juror in the place and stead of a person who has been duly notified
to attend.

7. An inferior magistrate, or a judge or other officer of an inferior
court, for proceeding, contrary to law, in a cause or matter, which has
been removed from his jurisdiction to the court inflicting the
punishment; or for disobedience to a lawful order or other mandate of
the latter court.

8. In any other case, where an attachment or any other proceeding to
punish for a contempt, has been usually adopted and practiced in a court
of record, to enforce a civil remedy of a party to an action or special
proceeding in that court, or to protect the right of a party.

B. A court not of record has such power to punish for a civil contempt
as is specifically granted to it by statute.