HB1311: Civil contempt; limits on imprisonment.

HOUSE BILL NO. 1311

Offered January 14, 2015
Prefiled November 12, 2014
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 18.2-457 and 18.2-458 of the Code of Virginia, relating to civil contempt; limits on imprisonment.
Patron-- Cole

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§ 18.2-457 and 18.2-458 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 18.2-457. Fine and imprisonment by court limited unless jury impaneled.

A. No court shall, without a jury, for any such contempt as is mentioned in the first class embraced in § 18.2-456, impose a fine exceeding $250 or imprison more than ten 10 days; but in any such case the court may, without an indictment, information or any formal pleading, impanel a jury to ascertain the fine or imprisonment proper to be inflicted and may give judgment according to the verdict.

B. Except as otherwise provided by law, no person shall be imprisoned for more than 30 days for any civil contempt of court.

§ 18.2-458. Power of judge of district court to punish for contempt.

A. A judge of a district court shall have the same power and jurisdiction as a judge of a circuit court to punish summarily for contempt, but in no case shall the fine exceed $250, or the imprisonment exceed ten 10 days, for the same contempt.

B. Except as otherwise provided by law, no person shall be imprisoned for more than 30 days for any civil contempt of court.