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Civil Contempt Legal Definitions

Below are defined words and phrases used in the context of civil contempt for child support, including appearance bond, indirect contempt of court, purge, purge conditions, and willful.

Appearance bond
means a requirement to post some kind of security to assure appearance for a court hearing at a later date. It may be by surety, cash bond, or the judge may release the obligor on his or her own recognizance.


Indirect contempt of court
means “willful disobedience of any process or order lawfully issued or made by court; resistance willfully offered by any person to the execution of a lawful order or process of a court.”


means that the obligor has corrected the conditions that made him or her guilty of indirect contempt of court or taken other action agreed upon by the parties or ordered by the court so that he or she is no longer in contempt for that time period.


Purge conditions
means a plan through which an obligor meets requirements to end the contempt citation pursuant to District Court Rule 8.3. This plan may include paying the current support, if applicable, and all or a portion of the arrearage through a monthly payment or a lump sum purge fee. This plan may also include alternative sentencing options or other court-ordered requirements.


in the context of child support contempt actions, willful means failure to do that which a person was ordered to do when he or she had the means and ability to do so.