Enforcement of Court OrdersThere may be times when a party fails to abide by a Court Order or an agreement. When this happens it may be necessary to take certain actions to enforce the order or agreement and your rights under the order or agreement. While there are a variety of tools to use, the most common are:
Contempt of Court
For a person to be found in contempt of court there must be a valid court order, the individual must have known of the court order, there must be a violation of the court order, and the individual must have an ability to comply with the court order (past and/or present).
If a person is found to be in contempt of court remedies may involve some of the following: fines, repayment of monies owed, attorney fees, and jail. Jail may be imposed for a specific term or until the individual complies with the court order.
Contempt of court can be very tricky. If you do not meet your burden of proof, or if you fail to prove all the elements required, or if you fail to properly specify your remedies you may lose the contempt. Alternatively, you may win the contempt, but obtain no attorney fees and no real resolution to your problem.
Does someone owe you money? Are you trying to collect for unpaid child support, unpaid medical bills, or other unpaid or unreimbursed expenses? If yes, you might consider having the monies owed to you reduced to a judgment. Once you obtain a judgment, you may then utilize several strategies to collect the debt which may include garnishment of wages, garnishment of bank accounts, and receipt of money from the sale of real property. Obtaining a judgment may allow you to collect monies that you might not have otherwise been able to collect.
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