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Why would a judge make a hearing for a contempt before a dispute if the dispute was filed first? I need the terminology used?

Denver, CO |

I filed a dispute of parenting time Oct 3 2012. Oct 30 I filed contempt for not allowing visitation.. The judge set a hearing for the contempt before the disputed parenting time. I would like the dispute to have been herd first in order to alleviate the contempt. How to I dismiss the contempt and hope the judge will still go forward with the dispute of parenting time? What is the proper terminology the judge would recognized?

Before any contempt was filed I filed a Dispute of parenting time. I believed the Dispute would have been called within three weeks as specified by rule. The matter was not brought up so I filed the contempt. The judge set a date for advisement not a hearing. The Judge asked if I was seeking Civil or Criminal Contempt. Unaware I requested both. The Judge set the criminal contempt court date fist and expressed the civil contempt would take place following. I am wanting to dismiss the criminal contempt but still go forward with the civil contempt. I would have preferred the Dispute Parenting time before the contempt. Mother is now following the rules after four missed visits. And does not feel I deserve the four visits. What are my options?

Attorney Answers 3


First, you need to recognize that the first retunr date on contempt is the advisement. It is not a hearing. Nothing will be decided on that date. The Defendant will be advised and a hearing will be set, usually several months further out.

If you want to dismiss the contempt action, you simply need to file an unopposed motion to dismiss. I assume that the Defendant, when you ask them, will not oppose dismissal if that is your wish.

As you are noticing, this process can be complex and confusing. If the matter is important to you, it would be a good idea to try to hire an experienced family law attorney to assist you.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.

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It is unclear from your post whether the contempt hearing is an advisement or the actual hearing to address the contempt allegations. Can you clarify?

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.

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The judge is merely reacting to the several filings you initiated. Had I been representing you, assuming that this is a domestic relations case and not a Juvenile Court case, I would have suggested filing the motion concerning parenting time dispute pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-129.5 and not filing a separate contempt, since finding someone in contempt is one of the many possible remedies of a motion filed pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-129.5.

What you might do, on the date of the contempt advisement, is tell your judge or magistrate that you now realize that a finding of contempt is a possible result of your parenting time dispute motion, and that you do not want to take up the court's time by having it hear what amounts to the same case twice. So, if the court agrees that finding the other party in contempt is one of the possible results of your parenting time dispute motion, you would like to dismiss the separate contempt motion and proceed with the parenting time dispute motion. This answer is provided as general information about a legal issue, is not legal advice specific to a particular case, and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the person asking the question.

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