Chapter 2705: CONTEMPT OF COURT

2705.01 Summary punishment for contempt.

A court, or judge at chambers, may summarily punish a person guilty of misbehavior in the presence of or so near the court or judge as to obstruct the administration of justice.

Cite as R.C. § 2705.01

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2705.02 Acts in contempt of court.

A person guilty of any of the following acts may be punished as for a contempt:

(A) Disobedience of, or resistance to, a lawful writ, process, order, rule, judgment, or command of a court or officer;

(B) Misbehavior of an officer of the court in the performance of official duties, or in official transactions;

(C) A failure to obey a subpoena duly served, or a refusal to be sworn or to answer as a witness, when lawfully required;

(D) The rescue, or attempted rescue, of a person or of property in the custody of an officer by virtue of an order or process of court held by the officer;

(E) A failure upon the part of a person recognized to appear as a witness in a court to appear in compliance with the terms of the person's recognizance;

(F) A failure to comply with an order issued pursuant to section 3109.19 or 3111.81 of the Revised Code;

(G) A failure to obey a subpoena issued by the department of job and family services or a child support enforcement agency pursuant to section 5101.37 of the Revised Code;

(H) A willful failure to submit to genetic testing, or a willful failure to submit a child to genetic testing, as required by an order for genetic testing issued under section 3111.41 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 2705.02

Effective Date: 03-22-2001

2705.03 Hearing.

In cases under section 2705.02 of the Revised Code, a charge in writing shall be filed with the clerk of the court, an entry thereof made upon the journal, and an opportunity given to the accused to be heard, by himself or counsel. This section does not prevent the court from issuing process to bring the accused into court, or from holding him in custody, pending such proceedings.

Cite as R.C. § 2705.03

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2705.031 Initiating contempt action for failure to pay support or comply with visitation order.

(A) As used in this section, "Title IV-D case" has the same meaning as in section 3125.01 of the Revised Code.

(B)

(1) Any party who has a legal claim to any support ordered for a child, spouse, or former spouse may initiate a contempt action for failure to pay the support. In Title IV-D cases, the contempt action for failure to pay support also may be initiated by an attorney retained by the party who has the legal claim, the prosecuting attorney, or an attorney of the department of job and family services or the child support enforcement agency.

(2) Any parent who is granted parenting time rights under a parenting time order or decree issued pursuant to section 3109.051 or 3109.12 of the Revised Code, any person who is granted visitation rights under a visitation order or decree issued pursuant to section 3109.051 , 3109.11 , or 3109.12 of the Revised Code or pursuant to any other provision of the Revised Code, or any other person who is subject to any parenting time or visitation order or decree, may initiate a contempt action for a failure to comply with, or an interference with, the order or decree.

(C) In any contempt action initiated pursuant to division (B) of this section, the accused shall appear upon the summons and order to appear that is issued by the court. The summons shall include all of the following:

(1) Notice that failure to appear may result in the issuance of an order of arrest, and in cases involving alleged failure to pay support, the issuance of an order for the payment of support by withholding an amount from the personal earnings of the accused or by withholding or deducting an amount from some other asset of the accused;

(2) Notice that the accused has a right to counsel, and that if indigent, the accused must apply for a public defender or court appointed counsel within three business days after receipt of the summons;

(3) Notice that the court may refuse to grant a continuance at the time of the hearing for the purpose of the accused obtaining counsel, if the accused fails to make a good faith effort to retain counsel or to obtain a public defender;

(4) Notice of the potential penalties that could be imposed upon the accused, if the accused is found guilty of contempt for failure to pay support or for a failure to comply with, or an interference with, a parenting time or visitation order or decree;

(5) Notice that the court may grant limited driving privileges under section 4510.021 of the Revised Code pursuant to a request made by the accused, if the driver's license was suspended based on a notice issued pursuant to section 3123.54 of the Revised Code by the child support enforcement agency and if the request is accompanied by a recent noncertified copy of a driver's abstract from the registrar of motor vehicles.

(D) If the accused is served as required by the Rules of Civil Procedure or by any special statutory proceedings that are relevant to the case, the court may order the attachment of the person of the accused upon failure to appear as ordered by the court.

(E) The imposition of any penalty for contempt under section 2705.05 of the Revised Code shall not eliminate any obligation of the accused to pay any past, present, or future support obligation or any obligation of the accused to comply with or refrain from interfering with the parenting time or visitation order or decree. The court shall have jurisdiction to make a finding of contempt for the failure to pay support and to impose the penalties set forth in section 2705.05 of the Revised Code in all cases in which past due support is at issue even if the duty to pay support has terminated, and shall have jurisdiction to make a finding of contempt for a failure to comply with, or an interference with, a parenting time or visitation order or decree and to impose the penalties set forth in section 2705.05 of the Revised Code in all cases in which the failure or interference is at issue even if the parenting time or visitation order or decree no longer is in effect.

Cite as R.C. § 2705.031

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.131, SB 337, §1, eff. 9/28/2012.

Effective Date: 03-22-2001

2705.04 Right of accused to bail.

In proceedings under section 2705.02 of the Revised Code, if the writ is not returnable forthwith, the court may fix the amount of a bond to be given by the accused, with surety to the satisfaction of the sheriff. Upon the return of a writ, when it is not convenient to hear the charge without delay, the court shall fix the amount of a bond to be given, with surety to the satisfaction of the clerk of the court, for the appearance of the accused to answer the charge.

On the execution of such bond, the accused shall be released from custody.

Cite as R.C. § 2705.04

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2705.05 Hearings for contempt proceedings.

(A) In all contempt proceedings, the court shall conduct a hearing. At the hearing, the court shall investigate the charge and hear any answer or testimony that the accused makes or offers and shall determine whether the accused is guilty of the contempt charge. If the accused is found guilty, the court may impose any of the following penalties:

(1) For a first offense, a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars, a definite term of imprisonment of not more than thirty days in jail, or both;

(2) For a second offense, a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, a definite term of imprisonment of not more than sixty days in jail, or both;

(3) For a third or subsequent offense, a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, a definite term of imprisonment of not more than ninety days in jail, or both.

(B) In all contempt proceedings initiated pursuant to section 2705.031 of the Revised Code against an employer, the bureau of workers' compensation, an employer that is paying workers' compensation benefits, a board, board of trustees, or other governing entity of a retirement system, person paying or distributing income to an obligor under a support order, or financial institution that is ordered to withhold or deduct an amount of money from the income or other assets of a person required to pay support and that fails to withhold or deduct the amount of money as ordered by the support order, the court also may require the employer, the bureau of workers' compensation, an employer that is paying workers' compensation benefits, a board, board of trustees, or other governing entity of a retirement system, person paying or distributing income to an obligor under a support order, or financial institution to pay the accumulated support arrearages.

Cite as R.C. § 2705.05

Effective Date: 12-01-1986

2705.06 Imprisonment until order obeyed.

When the contempt consists of the omission to do an act which the accused yet can perform, he may be imprisoned until he performs it.

Cite as R.C. § 2705.06

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2705.07 Proceedings when party released on bail fails to appear.

If the party released on bail under section 2705.04 of the Revised Code fails to appear upon the day named, the court may issue another order of arrest, or order the bond for his appearance to be prosecuted, or both. If the bond is prosecuted, the measure of damages in the action is the extent of loss or injury sustained by the aggrieved party by reason of the misconduct for which the contempt was prosecuted, and the costs of the proceeding. Such recovery is for the benefit of the party injured.

Cite as R.C. § 2705.07

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2705.08 Release of prisoner committed for contempt.

When a person is committed to jail for contempt, the court or judge who made the order may discharge him from imprisonment when it appears that the public interest will not suffer thereby.

Cite as R.C. § 2705.08

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2705.09 Judgment final.

The judgment and orders of a court or officer made in cases of contempt may be reviewed on appeal. Appeal proceedings shall not suspend execution of the order or judgment until the person in contempt files a bond in the court rendering the judgment, or in the court or before the officer making the order, payable to the state, with sureties to the acceptance of the clerk of that court, in an amount fixed by the reviewing court, or a judge thereof, conditioned that if judgment is rendered against such person he will abide by and perform the order or judgment.

Cite as R.C. § 2705.09

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2705.10 Alternative remedy.

This chapter furnishes a remedy in cases not provided for by another section of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 2705.10

Effective Date: 03-17-1987