Can you you be charged with contempt of court for violating a mediation agreement if the agreement is not yet signed by a judge?

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Can you you be charged with contempt of court for violating a mediation agreement if the agreement is not yet signed by a judge?

5 days ago I signed the mediation agreement; 3 days later a motion was filed for contempt even thought the judge has not yet signed the order?

Asked on November 12, 2011 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, it would seem to be premature to bring an action against you for contempt of court. Until an order is entered by the court, there is no contempt for not adhering to it. So if this mediation order had to be reviewed and signed by the court before becoming an order of the court, you would not yet have committed contempt. Sometimes, though, an order can be entered by the court before an actual signature is affixed to it--e.g. if after mediation, you and the other party appeared before a judge and the judge entered the order orally on the record. So the key issue is not the signature per se, it's whether in the facts of this situation, a court order, based on the mediation agreement, has been entered in one fashion or another.


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