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Simon Shields, LLB

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Contempt - Civil

Vigneault v. Massey (Ont CA, 2014)

In this family law case the Court of Appeal made the following comments on the law of civil contempt:
[6] The motion judge and the parties all recognized that contempt was not available to sanction failure to comply with a payment order: Family Law Rules, O. Reg. 114/99, r. 31(1); Forrest v. Lacroix Estate 2000 CanLII 5728 (ON CA), (2000), 48 O.R. (3d) 619 (C.A.), at paras. 68-69.

.....

[11] Civil contempt of court is a quasi-criminal proceeding. The following elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

1) The order that was breached must state clearly and unequivocally what should and should not be done.

2) The party who disobeys the order must do so deliberately and wilfully.

3) The breach of the order must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

See Prescott-Russell Services for Children and Adults v. G. (N.) 2006 CanLII 81792 (ON CA), (2006), 82 O.R. (3d) 686 (C.A.), at paras. 26-27.

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