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Rule 92. Civil Contempt and Sanctions for Non-Compliance with a Court Order

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Family Law Procedure

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Family Law Procedure (Refs & Annos)
Part XII. Civil Contempt and Arrest Warrants (Refs & Annos)
17B A.R.S. Rules Fam.Law Proc., Rule 92
Rule 92. Civil Contempt and Sanctions for Non-Compliance with a Court Order
(a) Applicability. This rule governs civil contempt proceedings in family law cases. Its procedures and sanctions are in addition to the procedures and sanctions for a child support arrest warrant under A.R.S. ยงยง 25-681 et seq.
(1) Civil Contempt. The court may use civil contempt sanctions under this rule only for compelling compliance with a court order or for compensating a party for losses because of a contemnor's failure to comply with a court order.
(2) Criminal Contempt. Contempt sanctions that punish an offender, or which vindicate the authority of the court, are criminal in nature and are not governed by this rule.
(b) Petition, Service, and Notice.
(1) Petition. A party begins a civil contempt proceeding by filing a petition that recites the essential facts alleged to be contemptuous. The petition must comply with this rule and Rules 91(b), (c), (e), and (h).
(2) Service. The civil contempt petition and order to appear must be personally served on the alleged contemnor as provided in Rule 41.
(3) Notice. The court may not make a finding of civil contempt without affording notice to the alleged contemnor and without providing the alleged contemnor an opportunity to be heard.
(c) Order to Appear. The order to appear must specify the date, time, and place of the hearing, and must contain the following notice using substantially the following language:
Failure to appear at the hearing may result in the court issuing a child support or civil warrant for your arrest. If you are arrested, you may be held in jail for up to 24 hours before you see a judge.
(d) Hearing. At the hearing on the petition, the court must make an express finding whether the alleged contemnor had notice of the petition and order to appear. The court also must also determine whether the party who filed the petition has established that:
(1) the court entered a prior order;
(2) the alleged contemnor had notice of the prior order; and
(3) the alleged contemnor failed to comply with the order.
(e) Order and Sanctions. The contemnor may show that the failure to comply with the court order was not willful. After hearing the testimony and evidence, the court must enter a written order granting or denying the petition for contempt. An order finding the alleged contemnor in contempt must include the following:
(1) a recital of facts on which the contempt finding is based; and
(2) if the court finds it appropriate, a statement of appropriate sanctions for obtaining the contemnor's compliance with the order, including incarceration, seizure of property, attorney fees, costs, compensatory or coercive fines, parenting time to makeup for time missed due to the contemnor, parent education classes, employment services, and any other coercive sanction or relief permitted by law, provided the order includes a purge provision under section (f).
(f) Purge.
(1) Generally. If the court orders incarceration, a fine, or any other sanction for failure to comply with a court order, the order must set conditions for the contemnor to purge the contempt based on the contemnor's present ability to comply.
(2) Ability to Comply. The court must include in its order a separate affirmative finding that the contemnor has the present ability to comply with the purge and that finding's factual basis. The court may grant the contemnor a reasonable time to comply with the purge conditions.
(3) Noncompliance. If the court orders incarceration but defers incarceration for more than 24 hours to allow the contemnor a reasonable time to comply with the purge conditions, and if the contemnor fails to comply within the time provided, the other party may file an affidavit of noncompliance. Upon receipt of the affidavit or on its own, the court may issue a child support or civil arrest warrant. The contemnor must be brought before the court within 24 hours of arrest for a determination of whether the contemnor continues to have the present ability to comply with the purge.
(g) Review Hearings for an Incarcerated Contemnor. If the court incarcerates a civil contemnor after a hearing, the court must hold a review hearing at least every 35 days while the contemnor is incarcerated. At that hearing, the court must determine if the contemnor has been able to comply with the purge condition or the amount of release payment, and if not, it must review the contemnor's present ability to comply. The court must continue or modify its orders accordingly.


Added Aug. 30, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019.
17B A. R. S. Rules Fam. Law Proc., Rule 92, AZ ST RFLP Rule 92
State Court Rules are current with amendments received through November 15, 2023. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through November 1, 2023.
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