I-4-9-25.Contempt Threats and Motions

Last Update: 1/12/16 (Transmittal I-4-49)

All agency personnel must be sensitive to actual and threatened contempt motions. Non-compliance with a court order can result in a contempt citation and a fine, jail term or both. Given these potentially serious ramifications, the term “threatened” contempt motion is to be liberally construed.

All Court Case Preparation and Review Branch (CCPRB) staff must immediately refer any correspondence or phone calls regarding actual or threatened contempt motions to an analyst. The analyst will secure the proper identifying information (claimant's name and Social Security number), status of the case (court jurisdiction and civil action number, Appeals Council action on the request for review, etc.) and the basis for the contempt motion. The analyst will prepare a memorandum for the CCPRB chief detailing the nature of the (threatened) contempt case.

The CCPRB Chief will email or fax the memorandum to the Office of the General Counsel in the appropriate region. The CCPRB chief must advise the analyst of any additional action that must be taken on the case.

In the event the case is pending before an administrative law judge, the CCPRB chief will instruct the analyst to call the hearing office (HO) and notify the Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge (HOCALJ). The CCPRB chief will also instruct the analyst to prepare a confirming memorandum for the CCPRB chief's signature. The analyst must send the memorandum to the HOCALJ. The CCPRB chief must send a copy of this memorandum to the Chief Administrative Law Judge with a covering memorandum requesting that a follow-up be done biweekly on the status of the case and that the CCPRB chief be advised by memorandum until the case is released by the HO.