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


Section 753 Power of courts to punish for civil contempts

Judiciary (JUD)

  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 witness.

  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.