Monday, March 20, 2006

District court may not enter damages judgment for underlying claim at contempt hearing

Homeyer v. Stagg & Assoc., 2006 UT App 89

Homeyer violated a court order and was held in contempt. At the contempt hearing, Judge Lewis took evidence regarding the underlying claims. At the conclusion of the hearing, she held Homeyer in contempt, put him in jail for thirty days, and entered a final judgment for damages against Homeyer in the underlying suit.

The court of appeals affirmed his contempt citation but reversed the damages judgment. It clarified that a court may hear evidence about the underlying claim as part of the contempt hearing and may order damages caused by the contemptuous conduct. But, it may not award damages based on the underlying cause of action.

FYI: one who is held in contempt is a “contemnor.”


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