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Contempt of court

criminal obey civil authority

Contempt of court, action that detracts from the dignity or authority of a court or that tends to obstruct the administration of justice. Such actions may be punished by fine or imprisonment, or both, but can generally be appealed. Contempt can be classified as civil or criminal. Civil contempt is failure to obey a court order issued for the benefit of a third party; an example would be failure to produce books for creditors to look at. Criminal contempt is a direct offense to the dignity or authority of a court, such as the use of vulgar language, refusal to obey instructions, or bribery of a juror.

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