Gevurtz Menashe

PDX 503.227.1515
WA 360.823.0410


Contempt Lawyers in Oregon and Washington
The "contempt of court" procedure is among the methods available to enforce a court order when someone knows what they are required to do but chooses to do otherwise. Most court orders may be enforced by means of a contempt of court action. Our attorneys can help discuss your options.

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Contempt Lawyers in Oregon and Washington

What Is Contempt Of Court?

If either parent intentionally and continually disregards the court-ordered schedule or other provisions of a parenting plan, and you cannot get adequate relief through the expedited parenting time enforcement procedures available in your county, this may also be actionable as contempt.

For instance, if the other parent is not fulfilling their court-ordered responsibility to make timely, complete, child support payments, and the state agency is not effectively collecting and enforcing the support obligation for you, you may need to ask for help from the court.

Remedial and Punitive Contempt of Court

A private party may bring an action for “remedial” contempt, with the goal to make the other person change his or her behavior. If the court finds someone is in contempt, the court may order that person to remedy their contempt by paying money, or allowing make-up parenting time; the court may order almost anything which is designed to make the person comply in the future. The court may even put the contemnor in jail. However, any remedial sanctions must be such that the person has the ability to purge the contempt, so, for example, someone who is in jail for contempt of court may release him- or herself at any time by letting the judge know that he or she will comply with court orders again. Only the district attorney may bring an action for “punitive” contempt, seeking to punish a person for action already completed.

Defending Against Allegations of Contempt

When you are served with papers alleging that you are in contempt of court, it’s important to take these allegations seriously. Discuss the situation with an attorney as soon as possible. You will likely want to take action to defend yourself, repair the damage, or both as the consequences of being found in contempt of court can be severe. No judge in any state is likely to be pleased with someone who has been found to have willfully disregarded a known court order – even once. If the other party says you are in contempt of court, but compliance with the court order was impossible for some reason, that fact constitutes an “affirmative defense.” You will need to file papers with the court to let the other party and the judge know this.

Contact Gevurtz Menashe Today

Our team of experienced family law attorneys will work with you to get the best outcome for you and your family. If you have been served with allegations of contempt of court, or are interested in learning more, call our Portland office at 503-227-1515, our Vancouver office at 360-823-0410, or schedule a consultation online.

Call our Portland, OR offices at: 503-227-1515
and our Vancouver, WA office at 360-823-0410
or contact us to request a consultation.