Plaintiffs in civil fraud cases often face the daunting prospect of a pyrrhic victory. While plaintiffs might successfully obtain judgment, a defendant fraudster's refusal to comply with court orders that assist in facilitating collection of such judgments may mean that financial recovery comes after inordinate delay, if at all. Aware of the discouraging impact that can have on the rule of law, courts have demonstrated a willingness to incarcerate parties found in contempt of court orders. Plaintiffs attempting to execute judgments on uncooperative defendants can take some comfort from recent cases granting contempt orders, including custodial sentences, against defendants that were unwilling to participate honestly in the civil litigation process.
Authored by Maureen M. Ward and Kirsten A. Thoreson. Published in Carswell's Legal Alert, Volume 30, Number 7, pp. 49-51. Reproduced by permission of Carswell, a division of Thomson Reuters Canada Limited.