When is a Civil Contempt fine more than a fine?

In a brand new opinion from the Court of Appeals, a “creative” order from a District Court Judge was given a stamp of approval.

The defendant in Tyll v. Berry was told to have no contact with the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s family for a year.  It appears the Defendant had a tough time paying attention to the calendar because after one month, he was at it again sending harassing emails, only this time to a more distant branch of the plaintiff’s family tree.

The Judge accessed a contempt fine against the Defendant, but added the requirement that the payment be made NOT to the Clerk of Court, but to THE PLAINTIFF.  Typically, damages are not awarded to a party for the other party’s contempt but fines are not unusual at all.  Here the fine is just ordered to be paid to the Plaintiff.

You can READ MORE in North Carolina Lawyers Weekly.

About Mike Daisley @ DaisleyLawOffices, PC

Civil Litigation Attorney and Certified Mediator in North Carolina Superior Courts; President of Daisley Law Offices, PC, a law firm devoted to helping Veterans, the Disabled and severely injured victims of corporate or individual negligence. Experienced in Civil Trial Advocacy and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mike is also a political analyst for WCNC-TV and WBT Radio,a writer and blogger on law, political discourse and theology, and a lifelong Episcopalian (which, as he explains, means "I'm a raging agnostic at least three days a week.") Office email : Mike@DaisleyLawOffices.com (704) 331-8014 Charlotte, North Carolina
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2 Responses to When is a Civil Contempt fine more than a fine?

  1. Joey Berry says:

    “The defendant in Tyll v. Berry was told to have no contact with the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s family for a year. It appears the Defendant had a tough time paying attention to the calendar because after one month, he was at it again sending harassing emails, only this time to a more distant branch of the plaintiff’s family tree.”

    Your statement contains two errors:

    1. I was told to have no contact with Plaintiffs (and separately to not harass Plaintiffs’ family).

    2. I sent one email with clear legal purpose to my mother-in-law who was not a Plaintiff.

    Sincerely,

    Joey Berry

    P.S. Here is the entire email (effectively ratified by the NC Court of Appeals as a standard for harassment):

    Please stop harassing us. You, David and Jenny have gotten a court
    order severing Michelle (and me) from your family for at least eleven
    more months. Your attempts to call us are torturous to Michelle.
    Under no circumstance is any form of communication welcome to
    either Michelle or me.
    -Joey

    [COA13-512 – ROA pg 66.]

    *appeal planned to SCOTUS; underlying orders to SCOTUS conference October 31,2014.
    [http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/14-6022.htm]

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