Contempt

If someone is not following the court order, the judge can hold them in contempt.  The judge can also award any unpaid money, including child support or spousal support.  If you want to file for contempt or respond to a motion for contempt filed against you, visit this section for more information and to find forms to use. 

Questions bw Before you begin: 

  • Is this page for me? This is for people with a Clark County, NV family court order who want to file for contempt or oppose a motion the other party filed asking for contempt.  
  • What is the law?  The judge typically cannot hold someone in contempt unless the person's behavior is violating a written order that was signed by the judge, filed with the court, and served on the other party.  You cannot allege general bad behavior.  The person's actions must be in violation of a specific part of a written court order that they were served with.   
  • What can the judge do?  Contempt is a very serious matter and can result in sanctions, fines, or imprisonment.   The judge may come up with other solutions to make sure the order is followed.  
  • What happens if I file for contempt? If the judge believes that the person is violating the court order, there will usually be 2 or more hearings -- one for the initial motion to be heard, and a second "Evidentiary Hearing" (which is similar to a trial) where the other person can defend themselves against the contempt charges through a full hearing. 

Follow these steps to file a motion or an opposition for contempt:

Copy bw 1. Fill out the forms.  There are at least 2 forms you have to fill out to file for contempt or oppose a contempt motion. 

Clerk bw 2. File the forms.  Turn in your completed forms by mail or efiling.  

Online bw 3. If you are filing the motion, submit the Order to Show Cause to the judge.  The judge may be willing to set the final contempt hearing based on just reading your papers.  

Service by mail bw 4. Serve the other party. You are responsible for serving the other party with a copy of your filed forms, usually by mail or e-service. 

Court bw 5. Get ready for the hearing. Make sure you know how to prepare for court.  

Judge bw 6. Prepare for the Evidentiary Hearing (if the judge sets one). The judge may set a 2nd contempt hearing that is similar to a trial.  

Learn more about each step below. 

 

Copy bw 1: Fill out the forms

You must fill out at least two forms to file for contempt or respond to a contempt motion.   

Motion / Opposition Fee Information Sheet

This form is required.  This form tells the Clerk of Court whether you have to pay a filing fee. There is usually a $25 filing fee to file your motion.  If you originally got a divorce by filing a Joint Petition for Divorce, the Court will charge an additional $129 the first time you file a motion and reopen your case and an additional $57 to file an opposition. 

Motion / Opposition Fee Information Sheet (pdf fillable)

Motion or Opposition to Enforce and/or for Contempt

One of these forms is required.  Use the motion if you are asking for contempt, and use the opposition if you are responding to the other party's motion.  This form tells the judge how you think the other person is violating the court order, or your defense if you are accused of contempt.

Motion to Enforce and/or for an Order to Show Cause Regarding Contempt (pdf fillable)

Opposition to the Motion to Enforce and/or for an Order to Show Cause Regarding Contempt (pdf fillable)

FYI! 

If you want to file exhibits to support your motion or opposition, download and complete an Exhibit Appendix.  Each exhibit must be identified in the table of contents, and every exhibit must be separated by a blank page that says "Exhibit __" with the number of the exhibit inserted.

Exhibit Appendix (pdf)

Exhibit Appendix (pdf fillable)

Exhibit Page (pdf fillable)

If you are filing the motion, you may need to fill out these forms too:

  • Schedule of Arrears.  File this form if you are filing for contempt because of unpaid child support or alimony. You will have to list every single payment that was due (usually by month), what was paid, and what is still owed. This lets the judge know how much is past due.  Download the following packet and follow all of the included instructions if you want to the judge to award you back payments.

Schedule of Arrears (pdf fillable)

If the judge awards arrears, it will still be up to you to collect the amounts due.  Please see the Civil Law Self-Help Center for information on how to collect a judgment later.

  • Financial Disclosure Form.  This form is required if the contempt has to do with money or finances, such as not paying support.  You do not need to complete the "Personal Asset and Debt Chart" on this form, but complete all of the other sections.  Attach your three most recent paystubs to this form.

Financial Disclosure Form (pdf)  

Financial Disclosure Form (pdf fillable)

  • Ex Parte Application for an Order to Show Cause.   This form asks the judge to set a separate contempt hearing based on your written paperwork alone.  The judge may or may not be willing to do this depending on the issues raised in your paperwork.  The judge might wait until the regular court date to decide whether to set a separate contempt hearing.

Ex Parte Application for an Order to Show Cause (pdf fillable)

  • Order to Show Cause.  This is the form that sets a separate contempt hearing where the other party must defend themselves against your allegations.

Order to Show Cause (pdf fillable)

 

Clerk bw 2: File the forms

Just like with your initial documents, you can file the papers in one of these ways:

  • Online through eFileNV.
  • Mail (Family Court, 601 North Pecos, Las Vegas, NV 89101).
  • In person at the Family Courthouse (check our How to File page for hours and more information).

When you file a motion, the Clerk will file a Clerk's Notice of Hearing.  This sets the court date, or if you did not request a hearing, it will set the date when the judge will review your motion to make a written decision.  Save this document.  

If there is an emergency, you can file additional documents asking the judge to hear your case sooner. Use the following instructions and forms to ask the judge to hear your case quickly.

OST Instructions - detailed steps about the process

Ex Parte Application for an Order Shortening Time (pdf fillable) - file this with your other forms

Order Shortening Time (pdf fillable) - fill this out and email it to the judge for consideration

 

Online bw  3: Submit the Order to Show Cause to the judge 

If you filed the Ex Parte Motion for an Order to Show Cause, you have to submit the proposed Order to Show Cause to the judge.  The judge will review your motion and may be willing to sign the Order to Show Cause and set a contempt hearing based just on reading your papers.  Or, the judge might want to wait until your regular motion hearing to hear from both parties first. 

*While the courthouse is closed due to COVID-19, you can mail the order to the address above or you can email it to your assigned department.  If you want to email it, check the Department Letter assigned to your case, and email it to the correct email below:

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If the judge signs the order: Find out from the judge's staff how the judge wants the order served.  Some judges will allow you to mail it, and some judges want a neutral person to hand-deliver the documents to the other party.

 

Service by mail bw 4: Serve the other party

This step and the form below are required!  If you do not follow this step properly, the judge may cancel your hearing.  

All of the documents you filed must be served on the other parent, or, if the other parent is represented by an attorney, the documents must be served on the attorney.  It is up to YOU to serve the documents; the court does not serve them for you. 

What to Serve:  You must serve the papers within 3 days of filing the documents.

  • A copy of the motion/opposition.
  • A copy of the Clerk's Notice of Hearing.
  • A copy of anything else you filed.  

How to Serve the Papers:

  • Electronic: If the other party is registered with the court's e-service program, you can electronically serve the documents at the time of filing.
  • By Mail: If the other party has not registered with eFileNV, you will have to send the documents through the U.S. Mail (you can send them by regular mail, there is no need to send them by certified mail).  
  • If the judge signed the Order to Show Cause, the judge might require you to serve it a different way.  Find out from the judge's staff if the judge has special requirements for how to serve the order.  

Once the documents are served, fill out a Certificate of Service that states when, where, and how you served the documents. The Certificate of Service form is required and must be filed before the court date!  

Certificate of Service (pdf fillable)

If any documents were personally served, you can use this form instead: 

Proof of Service - Contempt/OSC (pdf)

You can find answers to common questions about service on the Frequently Asked Questions: Service page.

 

Court bw 5: Go to the hearing

If one of the parties requested a hearing, plan to participate in that hearing. 

You can appear by phone or video for most hearings.  Fill out one of the following forms and file it at least a week ahead of the hearing to request permission to attend your hearing by video or telephone if you prefer.  Learn more about video and phone appearances on the court's informational page.  

Telephone Appearance Request (pdf fillable)

Video Appearance Request (pdf fillable) 

If you want to attend the hearing in person, plan to arrive at least 20 minutes early to have enough time to park, get through security, and find your courtroom.  Check in with the marshal at the courtroom when you arrive. 

It is a good idea to review some tips on how to Represent Yourself in Court before you attend the hearing.

 

Judge bw 6: Prepare for the Evidentiary Hearing (if the judge sets one)

If the judge believes the other party may be in contempt, the judge must allow the other party a full evidentiary hearing to defend against the charges before making a final ruling.  If the judge sets an evidentiary hearing, you can review the basics of how to prepare and what to expect by visiting the Trial page (although that page is for divorce cases, the rules and processes are the same).