What Are Contempt Warrants?

By order of the court
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In the courtroom, a judge's word is considered law. Once the ruling is placed in a written court order, the law becomes permanent and must be abided by under all circumstances. Failure to comply with the judge's decision or ruling is termed contempt in the legal world.

Definition of Contempt

In the legal world, contempt is the willful disobeying of a court order, the intentional display of disrespect to a judge in a courtroom, the disruption of a judge's courtroom through a hearing, or printing material that would endanger a just trial.

Read More: Reasons for Contempt in Divorce Court

Contempt Ruling

Only a judge may deem someone to be in contempt of court. This decision is typically made in the courtroom after the judge has determined that the accused is aware of what the law or order is and there was a deliberate disregard to follow the order or law.

Issuing a Contempt Warrant

In order for a person to be found in contempt, they must be present for a hearing. If the accused does not come forth for a scheduled hearing willingly, the judge will issue a warrant for the police to bring in the accused so that a hearing may be held.


Since the contempt warrant is issued due to the accused failing to show up to court willingly, an arrest and detainment in jail can be expected. This occurs regardless if the judge finds the accused to be in contempt of court or not.


Since there is a cost to having a warrant served by either a private agency or the police, the accused can also expect to pay a fine to cover the warrant expenses if found to be in contempt of court.

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