US (United States) Code. Title 18. Chapter 21: Contempts

Codificación normativa de EEUU (Estados Unidos) Legislación Federal estadounidense # Crimes and criminal procedure

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  • País: Estados Unidos Estados Unidos
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18 USC CHAPTER 21 - CONTEMPTS 01/06/03

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TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I - CRIMES

CHAPTER 21 - CONTEMPTS

.

-HEAD-

CHAPTER 21 - CONTEMPTS

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Sec.

401. Power of court.

402. Contempts constituting crimes.

403. Protection of the privacy of child victims and child

witnesses.

AMENDMENTS

1990 - Pub. L. 101-647, title II, Sec. 225(b)(2), Nov. 29, 1990,

104 Stat. 4806, added item 403.

1949 - Act May 24, 1949, ch. 139, Sec. 8(a), (b), 63 Stat. 90,

struck out ''CONSTITUTING CRIMES'' in chapter heading and

substituted ''Contempts constituting crimes'' for ''Criminal

contempts'' in item 402.

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18 USC Sec. 401 01/06/03

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TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I - CRIMES

CHAPTER 21 - CONTEMPTS

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Sec. 401. Power of court

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A court of the United States shall have power to punish by fine

or imprisonment, or both, at its discretion, such contempt of its

authority, and none other, as -

(1) Misbehavior of any person in its presence or so near

thereto as to obstruct the administration of justice;

(2) Misbehavior of any of its officers in their official

transactions;

(3) Disobedience or resistance to its lawful writ, process,

order, rule, decree, or command.

-SOURCE-

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 701; Pub. L. 107-273, div. B,

title III, Sec. 3002(a)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1805.)

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HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES

Based on section 385 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Judicial Code

and Judiciary (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, Sec. 268, 36 Stat. 1163).

Said section 385 conferred two powers. The first part

authorizing courts of the United States to impose and administer

oaths will remain in title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Judicial Code and

Judiciary. The second part relating to contempt of court

constitutes this section.

Changes in phraseology and arrangement were made.

AMENDMENTS

2002 - Pub. L. 107-273 inserted ''or both,'' after ''fine or

imprisonment,'' in introductory provisions.

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SECTION REFERRED TO IN OTHER SECTIONS

This section is referred to in section 3148 of this title.

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18 USC Sec. 402 01/06/03

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TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I - CRIMES

CHAPTER 21 - CONTEMPTS

-HEAD-

Sec. 402. Contempts constituting crimes

-STATUTE-

Any person, corporation or association willfully disobeying any

lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command of any

district court of the United States or any court of the District of

Columbia, by doing any act or thing therein, or thereby forbidden,

if the act or thing so done be of such character as to constitute

also a criminal offense under any statute of the United States or

under the laws of any State in which the act was committed, shall

be prosecuted for such contempt as provided in section 3691 of this

title and shall be punished by a fine under this title or

imprisonment, or both.

Such fine shall be paid to the United States or to the

complainant or other party injured by the act constituting the

contempt, or may, where more than one is so damaged, be divided or

apportioned among them as the court may direct, but in no case

shall the fine to be paid to the United States exceed, in case the

accused is a natural person, the sum of $1,000, nor shall such

imprisonment exceed the term of six months.

This section shall not be construed to relate to contempts

committed in the presence of the court, or so near thereto as to

obstruct the administration of justice, nor to contempts committed

in disobedience of any lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree,

or command entered in any suit or action brought or prosecuted in

the name of, or on behalf of, the United States, but the same, and

all other cases of contempt not specifically embraced in this

section may be punished in conformity to the prevailing usages at

law.

For purposes of this section, the term ''State'' includes a State

of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any

commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

-SOURCE-

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 701; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, Sec.

8(c), 63 Stat. 90; Pub. L. 101-647, title XII, Sec. 1205(c), Nov.

29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4830; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec.

330011(f), 330016(2)(E), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2145, 2148.)

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HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES

1948 ACT

Based on sections 386, 387, 389, and 390a of title 28, U.S.C.,

1940 ed., Judicial Code and Judiciary (Oct. 15, 1914, ch. 323, Sec.

1, 21, 22, 24, 38 Stat. 730, 738, 739).

Section 21 of the Clayton Act, section 386 of title 28, U.S.C.,

1940 ed., Judicial Code and Judiciary, is here consolidated with

parts of sections 1, 22, and 24 of the same act. Section 1 of said

act, section 390a of title 28 U.S.C., 1940 ed., Judicial Code and

Judiciary, defined person or persons. Section 22 of said act,

section 387 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Judicial Code and

Judiciary, regulated the procedure and provided for the punishment

of contempts. Section 24 of said act, section 389 of title 28,

U.S.C., 1940 ed., Judicial Code and Judiciary, limited the

application of these sections to certain kinds of contempt.

In transferring these sections to this title and in consolidating

them numerous changes of phraseology were necessary which do not,

however, change their meaning or substance. Words ''corporation or

association'' were inserted after ''any person'' in substitution

for the definition provisions of section 390a of title 28, U.S.C.,

1940 ed., Judicial Code and Judiciary, which read as follows: ''The

word 'person' or 'persons' wherever used in sections 381-383,

386-390a of this title, sections 12, 13, 14-19, 20, 21, 22-27 and

44 of title 15, and section 412 of title 18 shall be deemed to

include corporations and associations existing under or authorized

by the laws of either the United States, the laws of any of the

Territories, the laws of any State, or the laws of any foreign

country.''

The words ''any person, corporation, or association,''

unqualified except by the context of the section mean all that the

more lengthy definition included. Only those persons,

corporations, and associations who were parties to the order or had

actual notice of it may be punished for contempt. (See McCauly v.

First Trust & Savings Bank, C.C.A. Ill. 1921, 276 F. 117. See, also

National Labor Relations Board v. Blackstone Mfg. Co., C.C.A.

1941, 123 F. 2d 633.) The fact that the contemnor was incorporated

or organized under a foreign law or under the laws of a particular

State or Territory would hardly be relevant to the issue of

criminal contempt.

As noted above these sections were part of the Clayton Act,

entitled ''An act to supplement existing laws against unlawful

restraints and monopolies, and for other purposes.'' Whatever doubt

might have existed as to whether the contempt provisions were

variously limited to antitrust cases seems to be dispelled by the

case of Sandefur v. Canoe Creek Coal Co. (C.C.A. Ky. 1923, 293 F.

379, certified question answered 45 S. Ct. 18, 266 U.S. 42, 69 L.

Ed. 162, 35 A.L.R. 451), where the court says: ''The act,

considered as a whole, covers several more or less distinct

subjects. * * * The first eight sections pertain directly to the

subject of trust and monopolies; section 9 concerns interstate

commerce; section 10, combinations among common carriers; section

11, proceedings to enforce certain provisions of the act; sections

12-16, antitrust procedure and remedies; sections 17-19,

regulations of injunction and restraining orders in all cases;

section 20 limits the power of an equity court to issue any

injunction in a certain class of cases, viz., between employer and

the employee; and sections 21-24 pertain to procedure in any

district court, punishing contemptuous disregard of any order of

such court, providing the act constituting contempt is also a

criminal offense. Observing this relation of the various parts of

the act to each other, we think 'within the purview of this act'

must refer to that portion of the act which most broadly covers the

subject-matter to which section 22 is devoted, and this portion is

section 21, which reaches all cases where the act of contempt is

also a criminal offense. We know of nothing in the legislative

history of the act, or within the common knowledge as to the then

existing situation, which justifies us in thinking that 'within the

purview of this act,' in section 22, meant to limit its effect to

the employer-employee provisions of section 20, or even to the

antitrust scope of some of the earlier sections.'' (See also

Michaelson v. United States, 1924, 45 S. Ct. 18, 166 U.S. 42, 69

L. Ed. 162, 35 A.L.R. 451, and H. Rept. No. 613, 62d Cong., 2d

sess., to accompany H.R. 15657.)

1949 ACT

This amendment (see section 8) corrects the catchline of section

402 of title 18, U.S.C., to better represent the section content.

AMENDMENTS

1994 - Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(2)(E), substituted ''punished

by a fine under this title'' for ''punished by fine'' in first par.

Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330011(f), amended directory language of

Pub. L. 101-647, Sec. 1205(c). See 1990 Amendment note below.

1990 - Pub. L. 101-647, Sec. 1205(c), as amended by Pub. L.

103-322, Sec. 330011(f), added par. defining ''State''.

1949 - Act May 24, 1949, substituted ''Contempts constituting

crimes'' for ''Criminal contempts'' in section catchline.

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1994 AMENDMENT

Section 330011(f) of Pub. L. 103-322 provided that the amendment

made by that section is effective as of the date on which section

1205(c) of Pub. L. 101-647, which amended this section, took

effect.

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SECTION REFERRED TO IN OTHER SECTIONS

This section is referred to in section 3285 of this title; title

42 section 10608.

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18 USC Sec. 403 01/06/03

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TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I - CRIMES

CHAPTER 21 - CONTEMPTS

-HEAD-

Sec. 403. Protection of the privacy of child victims and child

witnesses

-STATUTE-

A knowing or intentional violation of the privacy protection

accorded by section 3509 of this title is a criminal contempt

punishable by not more than one year's imprisonment, or a fine

under this title, or both.

-SOURCE-

(Added Pub. L. 101-647, title II, Sec. 225(b)(1), Nov. 29, 1990,

104 Stat. 4805.)

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