Contempt of Court: Town of Caledon v Darzi

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In “Town of Caledon v. Darzi Holdings Ltd., 2021 ONSC 985“, the Town of Caledon moved to hold the defendant in contempt of court. The plaintiff argued that the defendant was in contempt of court by failing to abide by a previous court order.

The previous court order made by Justice Schabas contained multiple terms. These terms included:

  • ordering the removal of a fence and
  • an order to stop using three sites for storage of equipment in Caledon.

Finding a party in contempt of a court order is rare. “The contempt power is discretionary and courts have consistently discouraged its routine use to obtain compliance with court orders” (see para 9).

There are two forms of contempt of court: civil contempt and criminal contempt. Civil contempt involves a breach of a procedural rule or a minor transgression with no effect beyond the parties. Criminal contempt involves a “public and persistent failure to comply with the law and flouting of an order of the court” (see para 28).

In Town of Caledon v Darzi, Justice Myers found that the defendant committed criminal contempt. By publicly failing to obey the order, the defendants were in contempt of court. A sentencing hearing is forthcoming.

To learn more about contempt, watch out for our videos on Litigation Help Youtube Channel on Contempt of Court.

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