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Chapter 476

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  476.140.  Commitment for contempt to set forth particulars. — Whenever any person shall be committed for any contempt specified in sections 476.010 to 476.310, the particular circumstances of his offense shall be set forth in the order or warrant of commitment.

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(RSMo 1939 § 2031)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 1867; 1919 § 2362; 1909 § 3884

(1953) Commitment for contempt, based on refusal of witness to answer questions, must set forth the questions asked and the answers or statements made in response thereto, in order to be valid. Novak v. Weismantel (A.), 261 S.W.2d 491.

(1959) Order of commitment stating that lawyer "accused the court of malicious conduct and proceeded in a heated argument against the court" held insufficient as stating only conclusions.  Scott v. Davis (A.), 328 S.W.2d 394.

(1961) A commitment which recited that the person in prison was cited to show cause why he was not in contempt of court and that after hearing he was adjudged in contempt of court and duly sentenced was clearly insufficient and would not justify his detention. Glenn v. Hendrix (A.), 349 S.W.2d 532.

(1972) Where warrant of commitment by which petitioner for writ of habeas corpus was confined for direct criminal contempt of court recited only that the commitment was "in lieu of payment of a fine. . .heretofore assessed as a punishment for being in contempt of court", it failed to satisfy statutory and decisional requirements that it set forth the particular circumstances of the offense and did not justify petitioner's detention.  In re Randolph (A.), 474 S.W.2d 36.

(1974) Both the court's judgment in contempt and the commitment must recite the facts and circumstances constituting the offense of contempt. An order nunc pro tunc cannot be used to correct such an omission. Ex parte Neal (A.), 507 S.W.2d 674.

(1974) Writ of commitment held insufficient as failing to set forth necessary facts. A commitment cannot be validated if void on its face because judgment on which it is based is a lawful conviction. Vokolek v. Carnes (Mo.), 512 S.W.2d 112.

(1974) Held that failure to set out the circumstances of the contempt specified and further failure to issue a warrant of commitment cannot be cured by an order nunc pro tunc. Ex parte Huff (A.), 516 S.W.2d 778.

(1976) Held that judgment of contempt which fails to recite facts and circumstances constituting offense is invalid and petitioner must be discharged. Recital of such facts and circumstances in commitment does not cure defect. Ex parte Brown (Mo.), 530 S.W.2d 228.


---- end of effective   28 Aug 1939 ----

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