Contempt

Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Contempt Attorney

If you are defending against contempt or seeking to hold a person in contempt in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio contempt attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in your contempt case. Call Johnson Legal, LLC at (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your contempt matter.

Filing for Contempt in Ohio

If you believe that your former spouse or your child’s other parent is not following the court’s orders as part of your divorce or child custody matter, you can enforce those orders by filing a motion for contempt. The motion will ask that the court require the other party to either do or refraining from doing something if he or she has violated the court order and is found in contempt.

The primary reasons that a party may file a motion for contempt in domestic relations court is for the failure to pay child support or spousal support, refusing to permit court-ordered parenting time (i.e., visitation), or not paying for medical expenses.

Appearing for Contempt of Court

If you are served with a contempt of court notice, you must appear in court. However, the party seeking to hold you in contempt has the burden of proving that you violated the court’s orders. If the court determines that you are not complying with the court’s orders, you will be found in contempt.

The court may address the contempt of court finding by requiring you to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees, ordering make-up parenting time (if relevant to the contempt action) and, sometimes, may order you to serve a jail sentence.

Prior to serving or appearing in court for a contempt action, it is important that you speak with an attorney. The party against whom you filed a motion for contempt may respond by filing a contempt action against you and, therefore, consulting with an attorney is necessary. Moreover, courts appreciate it if the party seeking contempt attempt to resolve the matter first before seeking legal action.

Required Elements for an Ohio Contempt Action

To prevail on a motion for contempt, the movant must establish two facts:

  1. A court order required the person to do, or not to do, some act; and
  2. The person failed to comply with the court order.

The movant does not need to demonstrate that the other party intentionally or willfully failed to comply with the court’s orders. The movant only needs to prove that the other party failed to comply with the court order.

Defenses to a Contempt Action in Ohio

The person “charged” with contempt may raise a variety of different defenses against a contempt action. One of the following defenses may be raised in an appropriate situation:

  • The court lacks authority to hear the motion.
  • The court does not have authority to issue an order against the respondent.
  • The court order, when properly interpreted, does not require the respondent to do, or not do, the act.
  • The person is not required to perform the act at this time.
  • The court order is ambiguous.
  • The movant has either waived the right or waited too long to file the contempt motion.
Remedies for Contempt of Court in Ohio

If you experience an instance where your parenting time was denied, child support was not paid, or other violation of a court order, R.C. 3109.051 provides potential penalties that a court may order. These include make-up parenting time, modification to existing parenting orders, a fine for the party found in contempt, an award of attorney fees, and a possible jail sentence.

Sometimes, when a person does not want to comply with a court order, they believe that they can file to change the order and, once their motion is granted, they will be excused from their failure to comply while their motion is pending. However, this is mistaken. R.C. 2705.031 provides that a court has jurisdiction to make a finding of contempt for failure to comply with, or interference with, a parenting time order and to impose penalties for cases in which the failure or interference is at issue even if the parenting time order is no longer in effect.

This means that even if the parent’s motion to modify is granted, the court can still hold them in contempt for violations while their motion was pending.

Contempt Attorney – Columbus and Delaware, Ohio

If you are defending against contempt or seeking to hold a person in contempt in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio contempt attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in your contempt case. Call Johnson Legal, LLC at (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your contempt matter.