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In Family Court does it matter if you file a motion to dismiss a proceeding or Response to Contempt based on unclean hands?

Atlanta, GA |

My concern is if I just raise affirmative defenses in the respose to contempt, would I have basis for appeal if Judge fails to rule on unclean hands. Is it safer to file a Motion to dismiss that must be ruled on?

Attorney Answers 3


When filing Motion to Dismiss, it is very important to know your Judge. Some judges just like trials and will not dismiss unless your motion leaves absolutely nothing to question. If (as it sounds) you are dealing with a contempt complaint (you are the defendant), your next course of action has to be based on sound legal logic, and not just crafty maneuvering. A Motion to Dismiss is not a substitute for a solid answer with affirmative defenses, or vice versa. Think about taking a meeting with an attorney.

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A judge is not going to dismiss a contempt based on an argument of unclean hands. If you have the grounds to file a Motion to Dismiss (lack of jurisdiction, failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, etc), then by all means do so. However, you will most likely have to have a hearing on your Motion to Dismiss. In my experience, the hearing on Contempt will be scheduled and the judge will decide on your Motion to Dismiss that day.

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Your completely garbled colection of legal terms tell how bad an idea it is to proceed pro se. A judge would have no clue what you just said.

No one here knows the facts of your case, as you chose to not give any, so there's no way one can tell you how to respond to a contempt, but there is one sure thing - people without lawyers in contempt cases typically have very bad days in court.

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