Is there a statute of limitations on a contempt of court order?

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Is there a statute of limitations on a contempt of court order?

My ex-husband was ordered to pay me $25,000 if he ever sold our property; this was 12 years ago. We then amended the orders and the agreement was for him to pay me $25,000 at the time of refinance or sale of property. I was not aware that the promissory note was never recorded with the county. He has refinanced many times since. I went to a paralegal and she said he is in contempt. I face him and his lawyer in court tomorrow. I just now found out there is a statute of limitations. Do I have a case?

Asked on December 27, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortuantely it is unclear to me from which stats this question originates.  But certain states do indeed have a statute of limitations for the filing of an Order to Show Cause (or OSC, which is an an expedited type of motion) for contempt.  For example, in California for child and spousal support, an OSC re Contempt must be filed within three years of the alleged violation. For all other orders, an OSC re Contempt must be filed within two years of the alleged violation.  I think that you need to go and seek legal help here from ana ttorney who can figure out the exact tme line and if there is any loop hole here.  Maybe his continued refinancing could be seen as extending (tolling) the statute of limitations on contempt or on a breach of the contract between you.   But you need to do this quickly.  Good luck. 


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