Conner v. Kirkegard et al
ORDER denying 32 Motion for Contempt. Signed by Magistrate Judge John Johnston on 10/5/2016. Mailed to Conner. (TAG, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
ANDREW DAVID CONNER,
WARDEN LEROY KIRKEGARD, et al.,
Plaintiff Andrew Conner, an inmate proceeding in forma pauperis and
without counsel, has filed a Motion for Contempt of Court. (Doc. 32.) The motion
will be denied for two reasons. First, Mr. Conner failed to comply with Local Rule
7.1 which requires that when filing a motion, “[t]he text of the motion must state
that other parties have been contacted and state whether any party objects to the
motion.” L.R. 7.1(c). Although Mr. Conner represents that Defendants told him
there were no objections to anything he files, he is still required to contact counsel
for Defendants to determine if they object to each specific motion he may file.
Second, Mr. Conner has not met the standard for contempt. “Courts have
inherent power to enforce compliance with their lawful orders through civil
contempt.” Shillitani v. United States, 384 U.S. 364, 370 (1966). The legal
standards for imposing civil contempt is as follows:
Civil contempt in this context consists of a party’s disobedience to a
specific and definite court order by failure to take all reasonable steps
within the party’s power to comply. The contempt “need not be
willful,” and there is no good faith exception to the requirement of
obedience to a court order . . . But a person should not be held in
contempt if his action “‘appears to be based on a good faith and
reasonable interpretation of the court's order’” . . . “Substantial
compliance” with the court order is a defense to civil contempt, and is
not vitiated by “a few technical violations” where every reasonable
effort has been made to comply.
In Re Dual-Deck Video Cassette Recorder Antitrust Litigation v. Motion Picture
Association of America, 10 F.3d 693, 695 (9th Cir. 1993) (internal citations
omitted). The party alleging civil contempt must demonstrate the violation of a
court order by clear and convincing evidence. Id. Therefore, Mr. Conner must
show that (1) Defendants violated a Court order; (2) beyond substantial
compliance; (3) not based on a good faith and reasonable interpretation of the
order; (4) by clear and convincing evidence. Id.
While Mr. Conner complains about a number of actions taken by counsel, he
does not demonstrate that Defendants violated a court order.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Mr. Conner’s Motion for
Contempt (Doc. 32) is DENIED.
DATED this 5th day of October 2016.
/s/ John Johnston
United States Magistrate Judge
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