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Legal Information: Maryland
Updated: November 10, 2020
Rule 15-205. Constructive criminal contempt; commencement; prosecution
(a) Separate Action. A proceeding for constructive criminal contempt shall be docketed as a separate criminal action. It shall not be included in any action in which the alleged contempt occurred.
(1) The court may initiate a proceeding for constructive criminal contempt by filing an order directing the issuance of a summons or warrant pursuant to Rule 4-212.
(2) The State’s Attorney may initiate a proceeding for constructive criminal contempt committed against a trial court sitting within the county in which the State’s Attorney holds office by filing a petition with that court.
(3) The Attorney General may initiate a proceeding for constructive criminal contempt committed (A) against the Court of Appeals or the Court of Special Appeals, or (B) against a trial court when the Attorney General is exercising the authority vested in the Attorney General by Maryland Constitution, Art. V, § 3, by filing a petition with the court against which the contempt was allegedly committed.
(4) The State Prosecutor may initiate a proceeding for constructive criminal contempt committed against a court when the State Prosecutor is exercising the authority vested in the State Prosecutor by Code, Criminal Procedure Article, Title 14, by filing a petition with the court against which the contempt was allegedly committed.
(5) The court or any person with actual knowledge of the facts constituting a constructive criminal contempt may request the State’s Attorney, the Attorney General, or the State Prosecutor, as appropriate, to file a petition.
(c) Appointment of Prosecutor. If the proceeding is commenced by a court on its own initiative, the court may appoint the State’s Attorney of the county in which the court sits, the Attorney General, or the State Prosecutor to prosecute the charge.
(d) Contents; Service. An order filed by the court pursuant to section (b)(1) of this Rule and a petition filed by the State’s Attorney, the Attorney General, or the State Prosecutor shall contain the information required by Rule 4-202(a). The order or petition shall be served, along with a summons or warrant, in the manner specified in Rule 4-212 or, if the proceeding is in the Court of Appeals or Court of Special Appeals, in the manner directed by that court.
(e) Waiver of Counsel. The provisions of Rule 4-215 apply to constructive criminal contempt proceedings.
(f) Jury Trial. The provisions of Rule 4-246 apply to constructive criminal contempt proceedings.
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