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Family Law Rules – Rule 31: Contempt of Court

Angela Princewill

November 21, 2015

RULE 31:  CONTEMPT OF COURT

WHEN CONTEMPT MOTION AVAILABLE

31. (1) An order, other than a payment order, may be enforced by a contempt motion made in the case in which the order was made, even if another penalty is available.  O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31 (1).

NOTICE OF CONTEMPT MOTION

(2) The notice of contempt motion (Form 31) shall be served together with a supporting affidavit, by special service in accordance with subrule 6 (4), unless the court orders otherwise.  O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31 (2); O. Reg. 322/13, s. 19.

AFFIDAVIT FOR CONTEMPT MOTION

(3) The supporting affidavit may contain statements of information that the person signing the affidavit learned from someone else, but only if the requirements of subrule 14 (19) are satisfied.  O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31 (3).

WARRANT TO BRING TO COURT

(4) To bring before the court a person against whom a contempt motion is made, the court may issue a warrant for the person’s arrest if,

(a) the person’s attendance is necessary in the interest of justice; and

(b) the person is not likely to attend voluntarily.  O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31 (4).

CONTEMPT ORDERS

(5) If the court finds a person in contempt of the court, it may order that the person,

(a) be imprisoned for any period and on any conditions that are just;

(b) pay a fine in any amount that is appropriate;

(c) pay an amount to a party as a penalty;

(d) do anything else that the court decides is appropriate;

(e) not do what the court forbids;

(f) pay costs in an amount decided by the court; and

(g) obey any other order.  O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31 (5).

WRIT OF TEMPORARY SEIZURE

(6) The court may also give permission to issue a writ of temporary seizure (Form 28C) against the person’s property.  O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31 (6).

LIMITED IMPRISONMENT OR FINE

(7) In a contempt order under one of the following provisions, the period of imprisonment and the amount of a fine may not be greater than the relevant Act allows:

1. Section 38 of the Children’s Law Reform Act.

2. Section 49 of the Family Law Act.

3. Section 53 of the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, 1996.  O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31 (7).

CONDITIONAL IMPRISONMENT OR FINE

(8) A contempt order for imprisonment or for the payment of a fine may be suspended on appropriate conditions.  O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31 (8).

ISSUING WARRANT OF COMMITTAL

(9) If a party, on a motion with special service (subrule 6 (3)) on the person in contempt, states by an affidavit in Form 32C (or by oral evidence, with the court’s permission) that the person has not obeyed a condition imposed under subrule (8), the court may issue a warrant of committal against the person.  O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31 (9).

PAYMENT OF FINE

(10) A contempt order for the payment of a fine shall require the person in contempt to pay the fine,

(a) in a single payment, immediately or before a date that the court chooses; or

(b) in instalments, over a period of time that the court considers appropriate.  O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31 (10).

CORPORATION IN CONTEMPT

(11) If a corporation is found in contempt, the court may also make an order under subrule (5), (6) or (7) against any officer or director of the corporation.  O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31 (11).

CHANGE IN CONTEMPT ORDER

(12) The court may, on motion, change an order under this rule, give directions and make any other order that is just.  O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31 (12).

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