What are possible reasons for a Show Cause Order?
What is the burden of proof for a Order to Show Cause?
If an Order to Show Cause has been signed by a Judge, then the Defendant has the burden of proof to show why he or she should not be held in contempt. If there is simply a Motion to Show Cause and no Order to Show Cause has been issued then the moving party has the burden.
Is there any defense to a Show Cause Order?
To be held in contempt there must be a finding of "willful" contempt. Aside from denying non-compliance with the Court Order the usual defense is that the Defendant does not have the ability to comply with the Order and hence any failure to comply with the Order is not “willful”. This could mean the defendant simply can't afford to pay the required child support amount. Be aware paying zero towards a monthly child support obligation is asking to be held in contempt. Best practice is to pay something every month even if it is only $50 or $100 per month.
If I lost my job and can’t pay child support will I be held in contempt?
It may be a defense if you were laid off due to conditions out of your control, but if you were fired for cause then that is a usually a huge problem for the defendant. If your income has simply declined then you may need to file a motion to modify child support ASAP as the old amount continues to accrue each month until modified by the Court. Also- Judges rarely if every retroactively backdate a child support Order prior to the filing of a motion to modify. In Court, simply stating you can’t afford to pay your other bills and pay child support is usually not a winning argument, especially if you have been paying zero for several months.
What is the difference between civil and criminal contempt?
Criminal contempt is intended to punish past behavior via jail or sanction such as paying attorney fees or fines. Civil contempt is usually intended to make the Defendant obey a Court Order going forward.
What are the grounds for criminal contempt?
There are numerous grounds such as disrupting Court to not complying with conditions of probation, but as discussed earlier the most common reason is “willful” non-compliance with a Court Order.
What is the punishment for criminal contempt?
Under N.C.G.S. 5A-12 a person who commits criminal contempt, whether direct or indirect, is subject to censure, imprisonment up to 30 days, a fine not to exceed $500.00, or any combination of the three.
What are the grounds for civil contempt?
Under N.C.G.S. 5A-21 failure to comply with an order of a court is a continuing civil contempt as long as:
What is the punishment for civil contempt?
Under N.C.G.S. 5A-21(b2) the period of imprisonment for a person found in civil contempt shall not exceed 90 days for the same act of disobedience or refusal to comply with an order of the court. A person who has not purged himself or herself of the contempt within the period of imprisonment imposed by the court under this subsection may be recommitted for one or more successive periods of imprisonment, each not to exceed 90 days. However, the total period of imprisonment for the same act of disobedience or refusal to comply with the order of the court shall not exceed 12 months.
Can I ask for a Court appointed lawyer for contempt charges?
If you are facing imprisonment and cannot afford an attorney you may be entitled to a Court appointed attorney upon the Court finding you cannot afford private counsel. Generally speaking, you should never waive your right to court appointed counsel until you retain a lawyer.
* The Forms provided below are for illustrative purposes only. They should not be relied upon or filed with the Court. Please seek legal counsel before filing anything with the Court.
7/26/2018 12:45:35 pm
Good article! If I file a show cause and the defendant does not show up in court, to set a hearing date and notice has been served. What can I file for defendant not showing up when it was mandatory?
7/26/2018 12:56:18 pm
Did this actually happen and the judge didn't do anything?
12/20/2018 06:54:08 am
Can a show cause order require the defendant to show the reason for termination of prior jobs? My ex husband quite or gets fired for cause each time child support court is near. He had falsified pay stubs related to the last request for modification of child support but the paystub were received from his employer directly which was different for the exact same pay period. The child support was then increased going forward but not retroactive. Child support even tried to give him a court appointed lawyer because compared to me they felt that he was inadvertently represented. He was not facing jail time
12/20/2018 10:25:21 am
If he quit a job right before court a judge can impute his old income in the child support calculation. Sounds like you need to meet with a local attorney to find out if the problem is child support enforcement not pressing the issue or your local judges.
12/26/2018 09:57:00 am
If I am attempting to obtain a show cause hearing in response to a time enlargement request and to show the need for the defendant to pay attorney fees prior to court how do I file a show cause hearing. Additionally, the plaintiff did not per the court order provide the documents neccessary for the defendant to obtain medical insurance.
12/26/2018 10:59:05 am
Procedures vary greatly by county- you would need to consult a local attorney for specific guidance.
6/14/2019 04:25:38 pm
I was just served papers for order to show cause This is the first time I have been sever papers but they said I been on child support for six months but I have a job in not trying to go jail over something I didn’t know about till now what should I bring when I go in two weeks?
6/14/2019 06:47:21 pm
First thing to do is find out when and how you were served with the original lawsuit for child support. If there was not proper service you may be able to set aside the child support order.
10/8/2020 09:37:43 am
How many missed alimony paments do you have to have to file a show cause order?
10/8/2020 10:34:35 am
Even 1 violation of a court order is grounds for a Show Cause.
1/27/2021 06:21:56 pm
I am facing an order of contempt for not being able to refinance or sell my house in time to comply with my divorce agreement. I can prove many times over that I tried but I cannot afford an attorney and a public defender won't help me because it's a family court case. What are my options?
1/27/2021 08:45:12 pm
If you are facing actual jail then you should be able to ask for a court appointed attorney. If you are not facing jail then you may be forced to represent yourself if you cannot afford to hire your own attorney.
5/31/2022 04:30:38 pm
In union county I was served with papers for contempt for not letting 3 year old daughter go to her dads because he has a gf who just got convicted of a violent crime living with him as well as sex offender who just got out of prison over at his house and he plans house parities with all male friends getting drunk and passing out. She's not safe there. I have custody he was granted visitation and she doesn't even know him at all. Never been alone with him either. How do I file emergency custody to prevent her from having to go there for visits. She's in danger on many levels there
5/31/2022 04:59:09 pm
For specific legal advice you would need a consultation with a local attorney.
12/8/2022 07:51:26 am
If my children were being abused and I have a psychiatric proof, this is why I withheld the children but I’ve now sent them back, what are my chances of not being found in contempt?
12/8/2022 08:22:00 pm
For specific legal advice you would need to speak with a local attorney who knows your local judges.
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