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Superior Court Civil Rules Table of Contents




Rule 52. Enforcement, Contempt, Arrest

(a)  In General.  Process to enforce a judgment for the payment of money shall be a Writ of Execution, unless the court directs otherwise.  The proceedings on and in aid of execution shall be in accordance with applicable statutes.  In aid of the judgment or execution, the judgment creditor or the judgment creditor’s successor in interest when that interest appears of record, may obtain discovery from any person, including the judgment debtor, in the manner provided in these rules.  Process to enforce a judgment for the delivery of land shall be a Writ of Possession.

(b)  Contempt and Arrest. 

Attachments for contempt may be issued by the court at any time upon evidence of the violation of any injunction or other order, or for neglect of witnesses to give evidence upon subpoena, and commitment may be made thereon. Parties may be arrested upon order of court and required to give bonds for appearance and to abide the order of court in any case where it shall be deemed necessary.

(c)  Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs are authorized to take bail in civil contempt proceedings and shall forward forthwith such bail so taken to the clerk of the court issuing the arrest warrant.

(d)  Criminal Contempt.

    (1)  Summary Disposition. A direct criminal contempt may be punished summarily if the judge certifies that the judge saw or heard the conduct constituting the contempt and that it was committed in the presence of the judge. Oral notice of the conduct observed must be given by the judge. The contemnor must be given an opportunity to speak and present a defense. The order of contempt shall recite the adjudication and sentence and shall be signed by the judge and entered of record. The disposition, when imposed, shall also be entered on a separately numbered State v. (The Contemnor) file.

    (2)  Disposition Upon Notice and Hearing.  An indirect criminal contempt shall be prosecuted with notice. The notice shall state the time and place of hearing, allowing a reasonable time for the preparation of the defense, and shall state the essential facts constituting the criminal contempt charged. The notice shall be given orally by the judge in open court in the presence of the defendant or, on application of an attorney for the state or of an attorney appointed by the court for that purpose, by an order to show cause or an order of arrest. The defendant is entitled to admission to bail as provided by statute. In a proceeding under this rule, if the contempt charged involves disrespect to or criticism of a judge, that judge is disqualified from presiding at the trial or hearing except with the defendant's consent. Upon a verdict or finding of guilt, the court shall enter an order fixing the punishment.

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