2009 California Code of Civil Procedure - Section 1209-1222 :: Title 5. Of Contempts

CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
SECTION 1209-1222

1209.  (a) The following acts or omissions in respect to a court of
justice, or proceedings therein, are contempts of the authority of
the court:
   1. Disorderly, contemptuous, or insolent behavior toward the judge
while holding the court, tending to interrupt the due course of a
trial or other judicial proceeding;
   2. A breach of the peace, boisterous conduct, or violent
disturbance, tending to interrupt the due course of a trial or other
judicial proceeding;
   3. Misbehavior in office, or other willful neglect or violation of
duty by an attorney, counsel, clerk, sheriff, coroner, or other
person, appointed or elected to perform a judicial or ministerial
service;
   4. Abuse of the process or proceedings of the court, or falsely
pretending to act under authority of an order or process of the
court;
   5. Disobedience of any lawful judgment, order, or process of the
court;
   6. Rescuing any person or property in the custody of an officer by
virtue of an order or process of such court;
   7. Unlawfully detaining a witness, or party to an action while
going to, remaining at, or returning from the court where the action
is on the calendar for trial;
   8. Any other unlawful interference with the process or proceedings
of a court;
   9. Disobedience of a subpoena duly served, or refusing to be sworn
or answer as a witness;
   10. When summoned as a juror in a court, neglecting to attend or
serve as such, or improperly conversing with a party to an action, to
be tried at such court, or with any other person, in relation to the
merits of such action, or receiving a communication from a party or
other person in respect to it, without immediately disclosing the
same to the court;
   11. Disobedience by an inferior tribunal, magistrate, or officer,
of the lawful judgment, order, or process of a superior court, or
proceeding in an action or special proceeding contrary to law, after
such action or special proceeding is removed from the jurisdiction of
such inferior tribunal, magistrate, or officer.
   (b) No speech or publication reflecting upon or concerning any
court or any officer thereof shall be treated or punished as a
contempt of such court unless made in the immediate presence of such
court while in session and in such a manner as to actually interfere
with its proceedings.
   (c) Notwithstanding Section 1211 or any other provision of law, if
an order of contempt is made affecting an attorney, his agent,
investigator, or any person acting under the attorney's direction, in
the preparation and conduct of any action or proceeding, the
execution of any sentence shall be stayed pending the filing within
three judicial days of a petition for extraordinary relief testing
the lawfulness of the court's order, the violation of which is the
basis of the contempt, except for such conduct as may be proscribed
by subdivision (b) of Section 6068 of the Business and Professions
Code, relating to an attorney's duty to maintain respect due to the
courts and judicial officers.
   (d) Notwithstanding Section 1211 or any other provision of law, if
an order of contempt is made affecting a public safety employee
acting within the scope of employment for reason of the employee's
failure to comply with a duly issued subpoena or subpoena duces
tecum, the execution of any sentence shall be stayed pending the
filing within three judicial days of a petition for extraordinary
relief testing the lawfulness of the court's order, a violation of
which is the basis for the contempt.
   As used in this subdivision, "public safety employee" includes any
peace officer, firefighter, paramedic, or any other employee of a
public law enforcement agency whose duty is either to maintain
official records or to analyze or present evidence for investigative
or prosecutorial purposes.

1209.5.  When a court of competent jurisdiction makes an order
compelling a parent to furnish support or necessary food, clothing,
shelter, medical attendance, or other remedial care for his or her
child, proof that the order was made, filed, and served on the parent
or proof that the parent was present in court at the time the order
was pronounced and proof that the parent did not comply with the
order is prima facie evidence of a contempt of court.

1210.  Every person dispossessed or ejected from any real property
by the judgment or process of any court of competent jurisdiction,
who, not having right so to do, reenters into or upon or takes
possession of the real property, or induces or procures any person
not having right so to do, or aids or abets such a person therein, is
guilty of a contempt of the court by which the judgment was rendered
or from which the process issued. Upon a conviction for contempt the
court must immediately issue an alias process, directed to the
proper officer, and requiring the officer to restore possession to
the party entitled under the original judgment or process, or to the
party's lessee, grantee, or successor in interest. No appeal from the
order directing the issuance of an alias writ of possession stays
the execution of the writ, unless an undertaking is executed on the
part of the appellant to the effect that the appellant will not
commit or suffer to be committed any waste on the property, and if
the order is affirmed, or the appeal dismissed, the appellant will
pay the value of the use and occupation of the property from the time
of the unlawful reentry until the delivery of the possession of the
property, pursuant to the judgment or order, not exceeding a sum to
be fixed by the judge of the court by which the order for the alias
writ was made.

1211.  (a) When a contempt is committed in the immediate view and
presence of the court, or of the judge at chambers, it may be
punished summarily; for which an order must be made, reciting the
facts as occurring in such immediate view and presence, adjudging
that the person proceeded against is thereby guilty of a contempt,
and that he or she be punished as therein prescribed.
   When the contempt is not committed in the immediate view and
presence of the court, or of the judge at chambers, an affidavit
shall be presented to the court or judge of the facts constituting
the contempt, or a statement of the facts by the referees or
arbitrators, or other judicial officers.
   (b) In family law matters, filing of the Judicial Council form
entitled "Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Contempt (Family Law)"
shall constitute compliance with this section.

1211.5.  At all stages of all proceedings, the affidavit or
statement of facts, as the case may be, required by Section 1211
shall be construed, amended, and reviewed according to the followings
rules:
   (a) If no objection is made to the sufficiency of such affidavit
or statement during the hearing on the charges contained therein,
jurisdiction of the subject matter shall not depend on the averments
of such affidavit or statement, but may be established by the facts
found by the trial court to have been proved at such hearing, and the
court shall cause the affidavit or statement to be amended to
conform to proof.
   (b) The court may order or permit amendment of such affidavit or
statement for any defect or insufficiency at any stage of the
proceedings, and the trial of the person accused of contempt shall
continue as if the affidavit or statement had been originally filed
as amended, unless substantial rights of such person accused would be
prejudiced thereby, in which event a reasonable postponement, not
longer than the ends of justice require, may be granted.
   (c) No such affidavit or statement is insufficient, nor can the
trial, order, judgment, or other proceeding thereon be affected by
reason of any defect or imperfection in matter of form which does not
prejudice a substantial right of the person accused on the merits.
No order or judgment of conviction of contempt shall be set aside,
nor new trial granted, for any error as to any matter of pleading in
such affidavit or statement, unless, after an examination of the
entire cause, including the evidence, the court shall be of the
opinion that the error complained of has resulted in a miscarriage of
justice.

1212.  When the contempt is not committed in the immediate view and
presence of the court or judge, a warrant of attachment may be issued
to bring the person charged to answer, or, without a previous
arrest, a warrant of commitment may, upon notice, or upon an order to
show cause, be granted; and no warrant of commitment can be issued
without such previous attachment to answer, or such notice or order
to show cause.

1213.  Whenever a warrant of attachment is issued pursuant to this
title the court or judge must direct, by an endorsement on the
warrant, that the person charged may give an undertaking for the
person's appearance in an amount to be specified in such endorsement.

1214.  Upon executing the warrant of attachment, the officer
executing the warrant must keep the person in custody, bring him
before the court or judge, and detain him until an order be made in
the premises, unless the person arrested entitle himself to be
discharged, as provided in the next section.

1215.  The person arrested must be discharged from the arrest upon
executing and delivering to the officer, at any time before the
return day of the warrant, an undertaking to the effect that the
person arrested will appear on the return of the warrant and abide
the order of the court or judge thereupon.

1216.  The officer must return the warrant of arrest and
undertaking, if any, received by him from the person arrested, by the
return day specified therein.

1217.  When the person arrested has been brought up or appeared, the
court or judge must proceed to investigate the charge, and must hear
any answer which the person arrested may make to the same, and may
examine witnesses for or against him, for which an adjournment may be
had from time to time if necessary.

1218.  (a) Upon the answer and evidence taken, the court or judge
shall determine whether the person proceeded against is guilty of the
contempt charged, and if it be adjudged that he or she is guilty of
the contempt, a fine may be imposed on him or her not exceeding one
thousand dollars ($1,000), payable to the court, or he or she may be
imprisoned not exceeding five days, or both. In addition, a person
who is subject to a court order as a party to the action, or any
agent of this person, who is adjudged guilty of contempt for
violating that court order may be ordered to pay to the party
initiating the contempt proceeding the reasonable attorney's fees and
costs incurred by this party in connection with the contempt
proceeding.
   (b) No party, who is in contempt of a court order or judgment in a
dissolution of marriage, dissolution of domestic partnership, or
legal separation action, shall be permitted to enforce such an order
or judgment, by way of execution or otherwise, either in the same
action or by way of a separate action, against the other party. This
restriction shall not affect nor apply to the enforcement of child or
spousal support orders.
   (c) In any court action in which a party is found in contempt of
court for failure to comply with a court order pursuant to the Family
Code, the court shall order the following:
   (1) Upon a first finding of contempt, the court shall order the
contemner to perform community service of up to 120 hours, or to be
imprisoned up to 120 hours, for each count of contempt.
   (2) Upon the second finding of contempt, the court shall order the
contemner to perform community service of up to 120 hours, in
addition to ordering imprisonment of the contemner up to 120 hours,
for each count of contempt.
   (3) Upon the third or any subsequent finding of contempt, the
court shall order both of the following:
   (A) The court shall order the contemner to serve a term of
imprisonment of up to 240 hours, and to perform community service of
up to 240 hours, for each count of contempt.
   (B) The court shall order the contemner to pay an administrative
fee, not to exceed the actual cost of the contemner's administration
and supervision, while assigned to a community service program
pursuant to this paragraph.
   (4) The court shall take parties' employment schedules into
consideration when ordering either community service or imprisonment,
or both.
   (d) Pursuant to Section 1211 and this section, a district attorney
or city attorney may initiate and pursue a court action for contempt
against a party for failing to comply with a court order entered
pursuant to the Domestic Violence Protection Act (Division 10
(commencing with Section 6200) of the Family Code). Any attorney's
fees and costs ordered by the court pursuant to subdivision (a)
against a party who is adjudged guilty of contempt under this
subdivision shall be paid to the Office of Emergency Services'
account established for the purpose of funding domestic violence
shelter service providers pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section
13823.15 of the Penal Code.

1218.5.  (a) If the contempt alleged is for failure to pay child,
family, or spousal support, each month for which payment has not been
made in full may be alleged as a separate count of contempt and
punishment imposed for each count proven.
   (b) If the contempt alleged is the failure to pay child, family,
or spousal support, the period of limitations for commencing a
contempt action is three years from the date that the payment was
due. If the action before the court is enforcement of another order
under the Family Code, the period of limitations for commencing a
contempt action is two years from the time that the alleged contempt
occurred.

1219.  (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), when the contempt
consists of the omission to perform an act which is yet in the power
of the person to perform, he or she may be imprisoned until he or she
has performed it, and in that case the act shall be specified in the
warrant of commitment.
   (b) Notwithstanding any other law, no court may imprison or
otherwise confine or place in custody the victim of a sexual assault
or domestic violence crime for contempt when the contempt consists of
refusing to testify concerning that sexual assault or domestic
violence crime.
   (c) As used in this section, the following terms have the
following meanings:
   (1) "Sexual assault" means any act made punishable by Section 261,
262, 264.1, 285, 286, 288, 288a, or 289 of the Penal Code.
   (2) "Domestic violence" means "domestic violence" as defined in
Section 6211 of the Family Code.

1219.5.  (a) Except as provided in subdivision (c), in any case in
which a contempt consists of the refusal of a minor under the age of
16 years to take the oath or to testify, before imposing any sanction
for the contempt, the court shall first refer the matter to the
probation officer in charge of matters coming before the juvenile
court for a report and recommendation as to the appropriateness of
the imposition of a sanction. The probation officer shall prepare and
file the report and recommendation within the time directed by the
court. In making the report and recommendation, the probation officer
shall consider factors such as the maturity of the minor, the
reasons for the minor's refusal to take the oath or to testify, the
probability that available sanctions will affect the decision of the
minor not to take the oath or not to testify, the potential impact on
the minor of his or her testimony, the potential impact on the
pending litigation of the minor's unavailability as a witness, and
the appropriateness of the various available sanctions in the minor's
case. The court shall consider the report and recommendation in
imposing a sanction in the case.
   (b) In any such case in which the court orders the minor to be
placed outside of his or her home, the placement shall be in the
least restrictive setting available. Except as provided in
subdivision (d), the court shall not order the minor to be placed in
a secure facility unless other placements have been made and the
minor has fled the custody and control of the person under the
control of whom he or she has been placed or has persistently refused
to obey the reasonable and proper orders or directions of the person
under the control of whom he or she has been placed.
   (c) The court may impose a sanction for contempt prior to receipt
of the report and recommendation required by subdivision (a) if the
court enters a finding, supported by specific facts stated on the
record, that the minor would be likely to flee if released before the
receipt of the report and recommendation.
   (d) The court may order the minor placed in a secure facility
without first attempting the nonsecure placement required by
subdivision (b) if the court enters a finding, supported by specific
facts stated on the record, that the minor would be likely to flee if
released to nonsecure placement as a prerequisite to secure
confinement.

1220.  When the warrant of arrest has been returned served, if the
person arrested does not appear on the return day, the court or judge
may issue another warrant of arrest or may order the undertaking to
be enforced, or both. If the undertaking is enforced, the measure of
damages is the extent of the loss or injury sustained by the
aggrieved party by reason of the misconduct for which the warrant was
issued.

1221.  Whenever, by the provisions of this title, an officer is
required to keep a person arrested on a warrant of attachment in
custody, and to bring him before a court or judge, the inability,
from illness or otherwise, of the person to attend, is a sufficient
excuse for not bringing him up; and the officer must not confine a
person arrested upon the warrant in a prison, or otherwise restrain
him of personal liberty, except so far as may be necessary to secure
his personal attendance.

1222.  The judgment and orders of the court or judge, made in cases
of contempt, are final and conclusive.



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