Contempt of court cases

Note that this is a relatively new website category and most contempt of court cases can still be found in Category:Other capacity cases.
The old category structure used on this page is comprehensive as it contains every relevant case. The new database structure was introduced in 2019. It is more potentially useful than the old categorisation system: it includes all cases since January 2017, but only a minority of older cases: see Special:Drilldown/Cases. The pages below are initially ordered according to the dates on which they were added to the site (most recent first). The order can be changed by clicking on the symbol beside a column heading: click on the symbol beside "Page and summary" for alphabetical order; click beside "Categories" for the order in which the cases were reported. Click on the arrow symbol again to reverse the order. Click on a page name to view the relevant page. Asterisks mark those cases which have been added to the new database structure.

Case and summary Date added Categories
* Committal for contempt of court AB v HB [2021] EWCOP 45HB had prevented assessments of his father's capacity, contrary to a court order, but having heard from HB (who had a low level of comprehension himself but now understood that he had to comply with court orders) and as an assessment had since taken place it was decided not to punish him for the contempt. 2021‑10‑10 20:00:21

* Contempt for forgery P v Griffith [2020] EWCOP 46DG forged a court order, seeking to obtain the disclosure of P's confidential medical records (which the court had repeatedly declined to order). She was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment. 2021‑04‑10 15:06:15

* Contempt of court appeal Devon County Council v Teresa Kirk [2016] EWCA Civ 1221"In the circumstances of the present case, where a party was facing the likelihood of a prison sentence for contempt, but where that party, whom the court accepts had genuine and sincere objections to the welfare determination that had been made, had issued an application for permission to appeal that welfare determination, it was simply premature for the judge to press on with the committal application. The absence of an application for a stay of the order, where it is almost certain that a stay would have been granted pending receipt of the transcript of Baker J's judgment [the welfare determination], should not have been taken as justification for proceeding with the committal application. ... I end with a reminder to contemnors and their representatives of the availability of public funding. ... Whatever the limitations of civil funding, public funding in contempt cases is available under the criminal scheme. ...The effect of [a Court of Appeal decision] is that this covers all proceedings for contempt of court, whether criminal or civil in nature and whether arising in the context of criminal, civil or family proceedings. Because this is criminal public funding, it can be ordered by the court. ... In the same way, criminal public funding is available in this court." 2016‑12‑06 21:17:17

* Committal for contempt of court Devon County Council v Teresa Kirk [2016] EWCOP 42"This is an application made by a Local Authority for committal for contempt of court... The backdrop to this application is a long-running case in the Court of Protection concerning MM. ... The court went on to make declarations. Firstly, that MM lacked capacity. Secondly, that it was in his best interests to live in England, in the area of the South West. Thirdly, that it was not in his best interests to continue to reside at the care home in Portugal; and further ordered at para.7 that, no later than 4pm on 27 June 2016, Mrs. Kirk shall provide to the Local Authority a signed copy of the written declaration of authority... The short point about that provision in the order is that it provided for Mrs. Kirk to sign the written declaration of authority so that MM could be released to the local authority. The order had a penal notice attached to it, the recitals are very clear. ... I apply the criminal standard to the only breach with which I am concerned, which is as set out in the order. I am entirely satisfied and sure - indeed, it is accepted in the face of the court - that Mrs. Kirk has not provided the written declaration of authority... I shall pass a sentence of six months' imprisonment. However, I shall suspend the warrant for a period of seven days only to give Mrs Kirk one last chance to comply..." 2016‑12‑06 20:51:23 Cases

* Contempt guidance Practice Guidance: Committal for Contempt of Court (Supplemental) [2013] EWHC B7 (COP)This Practice Guidance supplements Practice Guidance: Committal for Contempt of Court [2013] EWHC B4 (COP). (1) The Guidance states how applications for committal should be shown in the public court list, for hearings in open court and hearings in private. (2) A party may pay for a copy of the application notice, except in exceptional circumstances where the judge must set out in writing his reasons for refusal. (3) The Guidance applies not only in the Court of Protection, but also to committal applications in family proceedings in the County Court and in the Family Proceedings Court. (4) The judge and advocates should be robed. 2013‑07‑04 14:00:19

* Contempt guidance Practice Guidance: Committal for Contempt of Court [2013] EWHC B4 (COP)Applications for committal for contempt, including in the Court of Protection and Family Division, should be heard and decided in public. The discretion to hear such an application in private (in the COP or, in proceedings relating to a child, the Family Division) should be exercised only in exceptional cases where it is necessary in the interests of justice, and in all such cases the court must state in public: (a) the name of that person; (b) in general terms the nature of the contempt of court in respect of which the committal order or suspended committal order is being made; and (c) the punishment being imposed. Committal applications should at the outset be listed and heard in public and a public judgment must be given setting out reasons if the court decides to sit in private. Committal applications in the Court of Protection or the Family Division should at the outset be listed and heard in public. Whenever the court decides to exercise its discretion to sit in private the judge should, before continuing the hearing in private, give a judgment in public setting out the reasons for doing so. Every such statement or judgment must be transcribed at public expense and published on Bailii. 2013‑05‑04 16:22:07