Sec. 27-10-01.3. Nonsummary procedure for remedial and punitive sanctions--Joint hearing and trial--Summary procedure--Appeal
1. a. The court on its own motion or motion of a person aggrieved by contempt of court may seek imposition of a remedial sanction for the contempt by filing a motion for that purpose in the proceeding to which the contempt is related. The court, after notice and hearing, may impose a remedial sanction authorized by this chapter. In a proceeding to impose a remedial sanction for failure to pay child or spousal support, an order to pay support is prima facie evidence the obligor has the ability to pay, and the burden of persuasion is upon the obligor to prove inability to pay the support ordered.
b. The state's attorney of a county, the attorney general, or a special prosecutor appointed by the court may seek the imposition of a punitive sanction by issuing a complaint charging a person with contempt of court and reciting the sanction sought to be imposed. The state's attorney, attorney general, or special prosecutor may initiate issuance of the complaint or may issue the complaint on the request of a party to an action or proceeding in a court or of the judge presiding in an action or proceeding. A judge is disqualified from presiding at the trial of an alleged contemnor if a reasonable likelihood or appearance of bias or prejudice will otherwise exist, if the contempt alleged involves disrespect or criticism of the judge, or if the judge has personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts. The person charged is entitled to a trial by jury.
c. The court may hold a hearing on a motion for a remedial sanction jointly with a trial on a complaint seeking a punitive sanction.
2. The judge presiding in an action or proceeding may impose a punitive sanction upon a person who commits contempt of court in the actual presence of the court. The judge shall impose the punitive sanction immediately after the contempt of court and only for the purpose of preserving order in the court and protecting the authority and dignity of the court.
3. An appeal may be taken to the supreme court from any order or judgment finding a person guilty of contempt. An order or judgment finding a person guilty of contempt is a final order or judgment for purposes of appeal.
SOURCE: S.L. 1993, Ch. 89, 12.