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Contempt — General Procedure, Remedial vs. Punitive

Evans v. Luebke, 2003 WI App 207, PFR filed 10/23/03

Issue/Holding: Contempt is an inherent judicial power, but is legislatively regulated, such that its exercise outside the statutory scheme is proscribed. ¶17. The required statutory procedure is determined by whether the contempt is remedial or punitive. The latter punishes past conduct for the purpose of upholding authority of the court, § 785.01(2) it may be brought only by a prosecutor (DA, AG, or special prosecutor appointed by court) with a complaint under criminal procedure statutes, § 785.03(1)(b). In contrast, a remedial sanction aims to terminate a continuing contempt of court, § 785.01(3), and falls under the procedure for nonsummary sanctions set by §§ 785.03(1)(a) and 785.04(1). ¶¶21-22.

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