Contempt Motion


Contempt Motion

There are many different ways to hold an individual accountable through the court system. For example, if you want to enforce payment of a judgment, check out our Debt Recovery page here. Or, if you want to obtain a court to order to require someone to perform an act or prohibit a person from performing an act, check out our Injunction page here.


Contempt is the offence of disobeying or disregarding a court of law and its officers. Anyone can be held in contempt including parties, witnesses, and attendees in the courtroom. Any conduct can be grounds for contempt if it brings the administration of justice into disrepute, interferes with the court process, or inhibits the ability to obtain justice. Behaviour that could be classified as grounds for contempt includes:  

  • failing to appear at a court hearing;
  • making condescending remarks or gestures;
  • refusing to answer questions;
  • disobeying a court order;
  • interfering with court proceedings; or
  • failing to comply with a court order.

Enforcing Orders in Ontario – Motions for Contempt

A contempt motion is a request to a Judge to hold someone accountable for failing to act or refrain from acting in accordance with a court order. Contempt motions can be brought for various reasons except for the payment of money.

In Ontario, contempt motions are governed by Rule 60.11 of the Rules of Civil Procedure (the “Rules”). The Rules help individuals navigate through the procedural aspects of the civil court process. Usually, the recipient of the contempt order is given an opportunity to comply with the original court order before he or she is found in contempt. If the recipient fails to act or refrain from acting in accordance with the order, the person who wishes to obtain the contempt order must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. the order alleged to have been breached must state clearly and unequivocally what should and should not be done;
  2. the party (or person) alleged to have breached the order must have had actual knowledge of the order; and,
  3. the party allegedly in breach must have intentionally done the act that the order prohibits or intentionally failed to do the act the order compels.

How We Can Help – Contempt Motions

A contempt motion is a very complicated and serious proceeding; because of this, they are known as quasi-criminal proceedings. A warrant may be issued for the arrest of the person against whom the contempt order is sought, if it is likely that the person will not attend the contempt hearing voluntarily. Those subject to a contempt order can also face serious consequences such as paying a large fine or being sentenced to a term of imprisonment.

We represented a party with a contempt motion, that decision is here:

  1. Click here to view the Endorsement of Justice Myers dated September 20, 2021, holding the Defendant in contempt of court.
  2. Click here to view the Endorsement of Justice Myers dated October 14, 2021, sentencing the Defendant to two weeks imprisonment and Ordering substantial costs.

Walker Law litigation lawyers can help you determine whether it is likely that the contempt motion will be successful against the recipient, prepare the motion materials, and argue the contempt motion.

Similarly, Walker Law can assist you if you are the recipient and have been served with contempt motion materials. If this is the case, we urge you to contact a lawyer immediately. Our civil litigation lawyers are ready to assist you. Call us at 647-342-2334 or email us at [email protected] for a consultation.

Tanya Walker – Civil Litigator/Civil Litigation Lawyer and Specialist

Tanya Walker, Owner and Managing Partner of Walker Law, is an award-winning certified specialist in civil litigation by the Law Society of Ontario. To be certified, lawyers must meet established standards of experience and knowledge requirements. As a certified civil litigator, you can trust that Tanya Walker will meet your litigation needs.


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