In the family law arena, Minnesota contempt of court orders are often necessary. Why? Because people say they will do something, it gets entered on a court order, and then they don’t do it.
It should be stated that Minnesota Contempt Court Orders are an extreme remedy and other avenues of dispute resolution should be tried before asking a court to issue an order holding someone in contempt. That being said, if someone is not following an order of the court and they refuse to respond to the other side, there is often little choice but to file such an order.
Requirements of a Minnesota Contempt of Court Order
Under Minnesota Rule of General Practice, Rule 309.01, the Minnesota Supreme Court has stated that contempt proceedings may be initiated by:
- Notice of motion and
- Motion for Contempt, or
- by Order to show Cause
The notice of motion and motion or order to show cause must be served upon the person who is alleged to have violated a particular court order. Furthermore, the motion and/or order must contain a supporting affidavit with specific factual allegations supporting a why the contempt of court order is needed.
The notice of motion or the order to show cause shall contain the following information:
- A reference to the specific court order, including the date of the order, which the person is alleged to have violated;
- A quotation of the specific applicable provisions orders; and
- the alleged failure of the person to comply with the order.
Affidavits in Support of Minnesota Contempt of Court Orders
The affidavit in support of the motion for contempt or order to show cause must set forth each alleged violation of the court order with particularity.
This means that the person signing the affidavit needs to be aware of the specific what, where, when, why related to the other side’s violation of the court order. If non-specific allegations are included in the affidavit, the court is much less likely to grant to motion for contempt.
Where the motion is based on an allegation that a person has failed to pay certain sums of money, the person signing the affidavit shall “state the kind of payments in default and shall specifically set forth the payment dates and the amounts due, paid and unpaid for each failure.” Again, it is important to be very specific in the affdavit.
The affidavit shall also contain numbered paragraphs which should be numbered to correspond with the motion if at all possible. The court is interested in particularity and concrete information. Stick to the facts and allege them clearly in the affidavit. Speaking with a Minnesota contempt of court lawyer is the best place to start if you are at all confused about the process.
A person may also respond to a motion for contempt of court via a responsive affidavit. The responsive affidavit “shall set forth with particularity an defenses the alleged contemnor will present to the court”. If the other side has alleged that the person has failed to pay money in their motion, the contemnor shall allege specific facts related to the nature, dates and amounts of payment, if any.
Those are the basics under the Minnesota Rules of Practice related to contempt of court motions in Minnesota. For further information about Minnesota Contempt of Court or related order enforcement, feel free to contact Flanders Law Firm LLC at 651-560-3216.