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Contempt of court

Contempt of court is the failure of someone to obey a lawful order of a court, disrespect for the judge, or disruption of the proceedings through poor behavior. A judge may impose civil (a fine) or criminal (jail) sanctions for someone found guilty of contempt of court. Typically judges in common law systems have more extensive power to declare someone in contempt than judges in civil law systems.

A number of anecdotes are to be found on the Internet in which individuals were found to be in contempt and given long jail terms for apparently minor reasons; it is unclear whether these are accurate.

See Also

contempt of Congress - in the United States, the same crime but against the U.S. Congress