I obtained a Court Judgement but the other party does not respect it: what can I do?

Did you know that if you get a judgment ordering the other party to pay you a certain amount and that you did not receive the payment within the deadline, you can execute your judgement in several ways? For instance, you can recover the debt due by imposing an input from the salary of the other party.

A party that does not comply with a court order may be guilty of a contempt of court. According to Article 50 of the Civil Procedure Code, “Anyone is guilty of contempt of court who disobeys any process or order of the court or of a judge thereof, or who acts in such a way as to interfere with the orderly administration of justice, or to impair the authority or dignity of the court.”

However, you often hear that it is a quasi-criminal proceedings, since, in fact, the penalty for such a charge and the submission of evidence is subject to criminal laws.

[1] Indeed, the party that does not respect the Court order shall be assigned before a judge by special order to appear [2]. The party must enter a plea of ​​guilty or not guilty. Just as in criminal law, the accused cannot be countered to testify against himself and the burden of proof for this procedure is heavier in civil law, that is to say, it must be met “beyond any reasonable doubt” [3] rather than the “balance of probabilities” (50% + 1).

When the burden of proof is met, the party that does not comply with the order is sentenced to a term of up to one year in prison and a $ 5,000 fine.

The contempt of court is an extraordinary procedure to be used as a last resort and should be used with caution, especially in family law.

Text written by Me Marie-Josée Gingras