Civil Contempt in Federal Court

In a recent Fourth Circuit case (Consumer Fin. Prot. Bureau v. Klopp), the court reviewed a contempt proceeding held by a district court. The trial judge held the party in civil contempt for violating a consent order among the two parties. The court also required the contemnor to disgorge a large amount of money.


What is Civil Contempt?

"The essence of civil contempt is to coerce compliance with judicial orders."

Consumer Fin. Prot. Bureau v. Klopp, No. 18-1694, 2020 WL 1982208, at *3 (4th Cir. Apr. 27, 2020)


Burden of Proof in Civil Contempt Hearings

The court then describes the burden of proof for civil contempt hearings in violation of a consent order:

Consumer Fin. Prot. Bureau v. Klopp, No. 18-1694, 2020 WL 1982208, at *3 (4th Cir. Apr. 27, 2020)


Interpretation of Consent Order

Another issue the court had to address was how the trial judge interpreted the consent order to determine if the party violated the order. The court used a de novo standard, but also mentioned that sometimes it is appropriate to use a de novo and a deferential standard together:

Consumer Fin. Prot. Bureau v. Klopp, No. 18-1694, 2020 WL 1982208, at *4 (4th Cir. Apr. 27, 2020)




© 2020 by Everyday Evidence

Daniel@everydayevidence.og

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