10.52: Declaration of civil contempt
10.53: Punishment for civil contempt of Court

Case Summary

The Parties were engaged in protracted litigation arising from the dissolution of their marriage. Dr. Stokes applied to hold Mr. Heck in Contempt of Court pursuant to Rule 10.52, for refusing to comply with an Order of the Court (the “Order”). The Order required Mr. Heck to remove a Certificate of Pending Litigation from a recreational property so it could be sold.

Mr. Heck refused to comply with the Order. Justice Feasby stated that there was no doubt he was in Contempt of Court, and so he then moved on to consider the appropriate sanction. Justice Feasby noted that Mr. Heck had a history of disobeying Court Orders, and that financial sanctions had little impact on his actions. Justice Feasby had already found Mr. Heck in Contempt of the Order and fined him $2,500 per day until he purged his Contempt. Despite this, the Contempt persisted. He also warned Mr. Heck, at that time, that if he failed to comply with the Order, Dr. Stokes would be entitled to seek further sanctions, including incarceration.

Pursuant to Rule 10.53, Justice Feasby held that he was entitled to vary the sanctions imposed on Mr. Heck for Contempt of Court, and that it was open to him to Order his incarceration as a sanction of last resort. Given Mr. Heck’s “track record” of disobeying Court Orders, Justice Feasby ordered that Mr. Heck be taken into custody until he complied with the Order.

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