Compliance Solutions Occupational Trainers, Inc. v. Safety Helpers, LLC Delinquent April 1, 2012 et al
ORDER: The court SHALL CONDUCT an evidentiary hearing on Plaintiff's Motion for Contempt [# 24 ], filed April 10, 2014, on Friday, July 18, 2014, commencing at 1:30 p.m. MDT. By Judge Robert E. Blackburn on 5/20/2014. (klyon, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge Robert E. Blackburn
Civil Action No. 14-cv-00323-REB-KLM
COMPLIANCE SOLUTIONS OCCUPATIONAL TRAINERS, INC., a Colorado
SAFETY HELPERS, LLC, DELINQUENT APRIL 1, 2012, a Colorado limited liability
KYLE KNEBEL, an individual,
This matter comes before me on Plaintiff’s Motion for Contempt [#24],1 filed
April 10, 2014. Plaintiff seeks to have me find defendants in contempt of the
Order [#231], filed February 28, 2014, granting the parties’ stipulation regarding use by
defendants of the trademark-in-suit. Although neither party has requested a hearing,
caselaw clearly provides that a civil contempt may not be imposed without one. I
therefore set this matter for hearing.
“Civil contempts provide a remedy for a party who has been injured by the
violation of a court order.” Hyde Construction Co. v. Koehring Co., 388 F.2d 501,
511 (10th Cir.), cert. denied, 88 S.Ct. 1654 (1968). Unlike criminal contempt, which
seeks to punish a party for past acts, civil contempt is remedial in nature and seeks to
“[#24]” is an example of the convention I use to identify the docket number assigned to a
specific paper by the court’s case management and electronic case filing system (CM/ECF). I use this
convention throughout this order.
compel compliance with a court order for the benefit of the complainant. International
Union, United Mine Workers of America v. Bagwell, 512 U.S. 821, 827-28, 114 S.Ct.
2552, 129 L.Ed.2d 642 (1994); Home Design Services, Inc. v. B & B Custom Homes,
LLC, 2008 WL 927683 at *2 (D. Colo. Apr. 3, 2008).
“Sanctions for civil contempt may only be employed for either or both of two
distinct remedial purposes: (1) to compel or coerce obedience to a court order . . .; and
(2) to compensate the contemnor's adversary for injuries resulting from the contemnor's
noncompliance[.]” O’Conner v. Midwest Pipe Fabrications, Inc., 972 F.2d 1204,
1211 (10th Cir. 1992) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).2 Plaintiff here
seeks coercive contempt sanctions, which “look to the future and are designed to aid
the plaintiff by bringing a defiant party into compliance with the court order.” Latrobe
Steel Co. v. United Steelworkers, 545 F.2d 1336, 1344 (3rd Cir. 1976).3 Specifically,
plaintiff asks that defendants be fined $2,500 per day until such time as they cease
using the allegedly confusingly similar mark. See O’Connor, 972 F.2d at 1211;
General Signal Corp. v. Donallco, Inc., 787 F.2d 1376, 1380 (9th Cir. 1986).
A finding of civil contempt is proper where (1) a valid court order existed; (2) the
respondent had knowledge of that order; and (3) the respondent disobeyed that order.
FTC v. Kuykendall, 371 F.3d 745, 756-57 (10th Cir. 2004). The moving party is
Although Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure governs motions for criminal contempt, there is no
corresponding procedural rule applicable to civil contempts. Home Design Services, Inc., 2008 WL
927683 at *4.
By contrast, compensatory sanctions seek to "compensate the complainant through the
payment of money for damages caused by past acts of disobedience." Latrobe Steel, 545 F.2d at 1344.
Plaintiff here does not seek compensatory sanctions.
required to establish a prima facie case of contempt by demonstrating that certain
conduct was required by a previous court order and that the alleged contemnor failed to
comply with that order. United States v. Hayes, 722 F.2d 723, 725 (11th Cir. 1984).
The alleged contemnor is entitled to notice and a hearing on the issues raised by and
inherent to the motion for contempt.
A person charged with civil contempt is entitled to a show
cause hearing, to be represented by counsel, to be given
adequate notice, and to have an opportunity to be heard. A
civil contempt proceeding, which may lead to a penalty, is a
trial rather than a hearing on a motion. Testimony is by way
of live witnesses and not by affidavit. A civil contempt
proceeding is conducted in accordance with the Federal
Rules of Evidence. [The alleged contemnor] and [its]
attorney must be accorded a reasonable period of time in
which to prepare a defense. Civil contempt must be
established by clear and convincing evidence.
Home Design Services, Inc., 2008 WL 927683 at *4 (internal citations omitted).
Accordingly, the court will set this matter for evidentiary hearing at a reasonable
time in advance to allow defendants to prepare and to respond to the allegations
brought against them.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the court SHALL CONDUCT an evidentiary
hearing on Plaintiff’s Motion for Contempt [#24], filed April 10, 2014, on Friday, July
18, 2014, commencing at 1:30 p.m. MDT, reserving the remainder of the afternoon, if
Dated May 20, 2014, at Denver, Colorado.
BY THE COURT:
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