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A show cause notice was issued for me. I, out of country, could not appear. Judge decided contempt of court. Can I appeal?

Fairfax, VA |

My husband moved a notice to show cause in circuit court, VA. Court asked me to appear in court. I am out of the country and my husband is not giving me his employment documents to get my dependent visa renewed to re-enter the country to appear in court. The court decided I am in contempt of court and next hearing date is after a month. Can I appeal the order? Since I cant come back to US until I get a visa. I, not US citizen. My husband is hiding the fact in the court that he is withholding all my documents requested from him months ago to get my visa renewed. It is immigration matter. Please answer briefly if appeal can be made or not if yes, limitation period. instead of the advice that I need a lawyer because I am broke and contesting pro se. Thnks, ur valuable advice can save my life

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Attorney answers 1


I think that you really do need a lawyer. Since you do not appear able to obtain one, the best thing you can do is file a Motion with the court before the next hearing date. If your husband has an attorney mail a copy of the motion to the attorney, if he is representing himself mail it to him.

Since you don't say what the next hearing is for, there's not much I can state in regards to what to put into the motion. At a minimum you will want to lay out facts in a numbered paragraph format with one fact per number. Sort of like:

1. I am not in the U.S.
2. I cannot enter the U.S. to appear in Court because my husband refuses to provide employment documents required for the processing of my visa.
3. ...... (whatever facts may be necessary)

If an Order has been entered (contempt order maybe?) you can ask the court to reconsider or vacate the prior order based upon the information provided. You should also attach copies any documentation that supports what you will be pleading and refer to each document in the paragraph in which it pertains.

I am not certain if this is a family court matter or an actual immigration matter - and that he is trying to prevent your re-entry, so I don't even know what direction to point you in to look up possible examples online for you.

You might want to do a search for "Virginia Motion to Vacate Order" or similar. I am attaching a link below to a relevant code section. Look at Paragraph D in the code as it may well apply in your case.

Please note that this response is based upon the limited information available in the question. In addition, it is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship and is offered only as general information and not as legal advice.



Thank You Victoria. This is a family court matter. The next court hearing May 3 is for returning back and appearing in court. The order entered says I am held in contempt and I have to return everything to husband along with the baby. in absence of which I will be either imprisoned or fined or both. I would like to call you for further details if possible.

Victoria Lee Allen

Victoria Lee Allen


Please feel free to call. I can give only very limited information, but will be happy to speak with you for a few minutes. My phone number is 804-784-3588. I think what may benefit you more is to try to find an attorney in the Fairfax area that would agree to make a special appearance on your behalf. I do not practice in that area, so it would be difficult for me. You may be able to find an attorney in that area through AVVO's listings or by going to and asking for a referral.

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