What Is an Example of a Behavior Punishable by a Contempt of Court Order?

Some behaviors that may result in a person being held in contempt of court include openly being uncivil to a judge and refusing to pay a court-ordered fine, as defined by the U.S. Department of Justice. When in contempt of court, a person may be penalized at the court's discretion.

A person may receive citation for direct contempt, such as causing any disturbance of the judicial process or being uncivil to judges or attorneys, or indirect contempt, such as not obeying court orders or procedures like paying fines or court-ordered settlements. Criminal contempt is held when the court rules that a person has purposeful intent to interfere with the judicial process. Contempt-of-court orders usually result in fines, but jail time can be threatened and enforced when necessary, according to Rottenstein Law Group.