IN RE: Contempt Proceeding of Salma Agha-Khan
ARREST ORDER RE CRIMINAL CONTEMPT FOR DR. AGHA-KAHNS FAILURE TO APPEAR AT JUNE 26, 2017 STATUS HEARING (18 U.S.C. § 401; FED. R. CRIM P. 42(a)) signed by Chief Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on June 27, 2017. Trial set for 7/24/2017 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 4 (LJO) before Chief Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill. (Munoz, I)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
IN RE CONTEMPT OF SALMA AGHAKHAN,
ARREST ORDER RE CRIMINAL
CONTEMPT FOR DR. AGHA-KAHN’S
FAILURE TO APPEAR AT JUNE 26, 2017
STATUS HEARING (18 U.S.C. § 401; FED.
R. CRIM P. 42(a))
Trial: Monday, July 24, 2017, 1:30 pm in
On May 16, 2017, Salma Agha-Khan was ordered to appear on June 26, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. The
14 hearing was set to decide the following issues: (1) the initial Order to Show Cause re Criminal
15 Contempt; (2) Dr. Agha-Kahn's repeated failure to appear; and (3) Dr. Agha-Kahn's ex parte motion to,
16 among other things, disqualify the undersigned. ECF No. 34. The order expressly stated Dr. Agha17 Kahn's failure to appear at the June 26, 2017 hearing would result in the issuance of a no bail warrant.
On June 26, 2017, at 1:31 p.m., a female purporting to be Dr. Agha-Kahn left a voice mail
20 message with the Court indicating she would not appear personally for the 1:30 p.m. hearing, stating
21 her belief the hearing had been “dismissed”, noting she was unable to retain counsel. This phone
22 message confirms Dr. Agha-Kahn's knowledge of the time and date for the hearing, and directly
23 contradicts her statement she believed the hearing had been cancelled.
At 1:40 p.m., the scheduled hearing was held, and Dr. Agha-Kahn failed to appear personally in
25 direct contravention to the May 16, 2017 order setting the matter for hearing. The Court noted this
failure to appear on the record and stated a no-bail warrant for Dr. Agha-Kahn’s arrest would issue.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 401, this Court has the “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.” Plaintiff’s willful, repeated failure to appear without excuse constitutes
criminal contempt. See U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n as Trustee v. Garcia, No. CIV S-10-1623 LKK/GGH PS,
2010 WL 4365556, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 27, 2010) (citing In re Allis, 531 F.2d 1391, 1392 (9th Cir.
Under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 42(a), “[a]ny person who commits criminal
11 contempt may be punished for that contempt after prosecution on notice.” The Rule permits the Court
12 to issue an “arrest order,” giving the defendant notice stating the time and place of trial, allowing the
13 defendant reasonable time to prepare a defense, and stating the essential facts constituting the charged
14 criminal contempt and describing it as such. Id. The Rule also requires appointment of an attorney to
15 prosecute the case. Id. The Court does so in a separate order.
This order constitutes an “arrest order” for criminal contempt under Fed. R. Crim. P. 42 (a) and
17 18 U.S.C. § 401, based upon Dr. Agha-Kahn’s failure to appear.
Trial is set in this matter for Monday, July 24, 2017, at 1:30 pm in Courtroom 4 (LJO).
19 Defendant’s personal appearance is required.
21 IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ Lawrence J. O’Neill _____
June 27, 2017
UNITED STATES CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE
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