Anyanwu v. Anyanwu

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					International Union, United Mine Workers v. Bagwell, 512 U.S. 821, 1994 Issue Reasoning
Most contempt sanctions to some extent punish a prior offence as well as coerce an offender’s future obedience. Ex coercive, civil contempt: confining a contemnor indefinitely until he complies with an affirmative command. o “carries the keys to the prison in his own pocket.” Fixed sentence of imprisonment is punitive and criminal if applied retrospectively for a completed act of disobedience. o Cannot be avoided or abbreviated through later compliance. o Flat, unconditional fine is criminal if he has no subsequent opportunity to reduce or avoid. Civil and Remedial coerce Δ into compliance with court’s order or compensates the complainant for losses sustained. o Where is fine is not compensatory, it is civil only if contemnor is afforded an opportunity to purge. Inherent contempt authority is liable to abuse. Indirect contempts involving discrete, readily ascertainable acts may be adjudicated through civil proceedings since the need for expensive, impartial fact-finding is less pressing. Contempts involving out of court disobedience to complex injunctions often Require elaborate and reliable fact-finding. Here, the fines are not compensatory. DP requires notice, both of conduct prohibited and the sanctions to be imposed. o The court here simply announced the penalty. o Union had an opportunity to purge once imposed  more like criminal. Here, the fines are Criminal b/c: o conduct and not occur in the courts presence or anti-gay court's ability to maintain order in adjudicating a proceedings o nor did the unions contumacy involves simple, affirmative acts


Criminal Contempt is a crime in the ordinary sense. Civil contempt sanctions are designed to compel future compliance with a court order o They are considered coercive. o Avoidable through obedience. o May be imposed in an ordinary civil proceeding upon notice and an opportunity to be heard. o Neither jury nor proof beyond a reasonable doubt is required. Whether a contempt is civil or criminal turns on the character and purpose of the sanction. o Civil if remedial and for the benefit of complainant o Criminal is punitive and used to vindicate the auth of the court. Inherent contempt authority: Courts independently must be vested with the to impose a silence, respect, and decorum, and submission to their lawful mandates. o Have to balance competing concerns of necessity and potential arbitrariness by allowing an unencumbered contempt power when it's exercise is most essential, and requiring progressively greater procedural protection when other considerations come into play. If the court delays in a punishing a direct contempt until after completion of trial, DP requires notice and a hearing. o Direct contempts cannot be punished with serious criminals penalties absent full protections of criminal jury trial. Criminal procedural protections: right to counsel and proof beyond reasonable doubt. We're both civil and relief is imposed, the criminal feature of the order is dominant and fixes the character for purposes of review. Just because the court announced the fines before the fact, does not in itself justify conclusion that they are civil.

Court enjoined union from certain activities but the union persisted in its activities. At a contempt hearing, the union was charged $642K for 72 violations and the court announced that the union would be fined $100K per future violent violation and $20K per future nonviolent violation. The union, again, persisted. At a contempt hearing, it was fined $64Mil: $12Mil payable to the companies and $52Mil payable to VA. The cos and the union settled by VA insisted on getting its $52Mil.

Held Proc П argues Δ argues

The mere fact that sanctions were announced in advance does not render them coercive and civil. The fines here are criminal. The trial refused to vacate the fines b/c they were coercive, civil fines. Appeals vacated the contempt fines. VA S.Ct: Reversed. Fines intended to coerce compliance. The fines were civil and coercive and properly imposed in civil proceedings. Because of the prospective fine schedule the union could avoid through compliance, the fines are civil. o Announcement of a prospective fine schedule allow the union to avoid being the fines is simply by performing the act required by the order. The sanctions are criminal.

Anyanwu v. Anyanwu, 771 A.2d 672, 2201 Issue Reasoning
The hearing was inadequate o No live testimony presented o The evidence presented was 2 unauthenticated letters containing hearsay statements and opinions. Trial judge misapplied the standard for discharge from confinement pursuant to an order of commitment directing compliance with a court order. o Judge relied only on the duration of confinement. o Perceived refusal of Δ to comply was insufficient to carry the requisite BoP. The husband and wife's lives have gotten much worse, and have suffered deeply - continuing this stalemate solves nothing: o One dead child o the other in Nigeria o assets are depleted o Δ lost his job and his liberty o hostility remains unabated Solution: appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child. o Report on applicable issues, including Nigerian law and customs. o Seek out the assistance of relatives. o Communicate with officials in Nigeria and the United States as a not so party. o Mediate some of the differences. o periodic progress conferences and hearings Reversed and remanded. o


Contemnor be has the burden of proving that continued confinement had no coercive effect had become punitive. o Factual issues are to be resolved to live testimony and crossexamination. Commitment cannot continue it does not have or has lost its coercive power and their by has become punitive. o Incarceration loses its coercive power with a particular method is unable to comply with a court order is charged with violating. Std of Review: o whether there is a substantial likelihood that continued incarceration would accomplish the purpose of causing the person confined to comply with the order on which confinement is based. o Refusal to comply in itself insufficient for finding that commitment has lost its coercive power. o Mere passage of time does not convert course of restraint into punitive contempt. o Court to balance its interests in enforcing compliance with a particular order, and a contemnor’s liberty.

Father left his kids behind in Nigeria and was jailed for contempt of an order directing him to produce them during divorce proceedings. His first 4 appeals were denied because he said it was impossible for him to comply. But the 5th time was the charm and he was released. o At the 5th appeal, be submitted pro se brief alleging that he could not comply. o No live testimony was presented. The wife appealed.

Held Proc П argues Δ argues

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