2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 15 - COURTS
CHAPTER 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 15-1-4 - Extent of contempt power; when jury trial required; bond; appeal; violation of alimony or child support order

O.C.G.A. 15-1-4 (2010)
15-1-4. Extent of contempt power; when jury trial required; bond; appeal; violation of alimony or child support order


(a) The powers of the several courts to issue attachments and inflict summary punishment for contempt of court shall extend only to cases of:

(1) Misbehavior of any person or persons in the presence of such courts or so near thereto as to obstruct the administration of justice;

(2) Misbehavior of any of the officers of the courts in their official transactions;

(3) Disobedience or resistance by any officer of the courts, party, juror, witness, or other person or persons to any lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command of the courts;

(4) Violation of subsection (a) of Code Section 34-1-3, relating to prohibited conduct of employers with respect to employees who are required to attend judicial proceedings; and

(5) Violation of a court order relating to the televising, videotaping, or motion picture filming of judicial proceedings.

(b) No person shall be imprisoned for contempt for failing or refusing to pay over money under any order, decree, or judgment of any court of law or any other court of this state when he denies that the money ordered or decreed to be paid over is in his power, custody, or control until he has a trial by jury in accordance with the following provisions:

(1) The allegation of the plaintiff, receiver, referee, or any other person or persons that the defendant accused of contempt has a certain sum of money within his power, custody, or control, which he is withholding or refuses or fails to pay over, and the denial of the defendant that he has the power, custody, or control of the money shall form the issue to be tried by the jury, and the jury shall decide the issue of fact;

(2) The issue being made, a bond may be required in the discretion of the court for the appearance of the defendant for trial, which bond shall be of sufficient size to ensure the attendance of the defendant to appear and answer the final judgment or decree in the case and shall be approved by the judge. On failure of the defendant to appear, the bond shall be forfeited as in criminal cases. If bond is required but not posted the defendant may be committed to jail for safekeeping until trial; and

(3) The judge presiding shall cause questions to be propounded in writing to the jury and every question propounded shall be answered by the jury in its verdict. Upon the answers made, the judge shall adjudge or decree whether the defendant is in contempt. Either party shall have the right to move for a new trial and to appeal as in other civil cases.

(c) When a person who is gainfully employed violates an order of the court granting temporary or permanent alimony or child support and the judge finds the person in contempt of court, the sentencing judge may sentence the respondent to a term of confinement in a diversion center and participation in a diversion program if such a program has been established by a county pursuant to the provisions of Article 8 of Chapter 8 of Title 42.

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