Riverside Superior Court, Indio Family law department allows contempt of proceedings without personal proof of service; a jurisdictional requirements

An Order to show cause (OSC) for contempt was FILED by the Indio Family Law Department of the Riverside Superior Court, in Department 2 J. Once the OSC for contempt has been approved it is up to the adversarial party to serve the OSC on the person allegedly guilty of contempt proceedings.  The docket shows that the contempt of court hearing was continued with a mailed proof of service.

It is an absolute jurisdictional requirement that the OSC, with the underlying affidavit, is personally served according to the instructions of the CA Judicial Bench Guide for initiating contempt proceedings:

“An order to show cause to bring a party into contempt must be served on the alleged contemner in the same manner as a summons, i.e., by personal service on the contemner even if he or she is represented by counsel. See CCP §§1016–1017; Cedars-Sinai Imaging Medical Group v Superior Court (2000) 83 CA4th 1281, 1286–1288, 100 CR2d 320 (court does not have jurisdiction to proceed unless party charged is personally served with OSC). The order to show cause notifies the alleged contemner of the nature of the charges and the time of the hearing, and is the means for obtaining personal jurisdiction. Service of a subsequent order on the alleged contemner’s attorney is appropriate when the initial order to show cause was served on the contemner in the same manner as a summons. See In re Morelli (1970) 11 CA3d 819, 838, 91 CR 72.”

Unless it can be factually shown that the Citee is engaging in acts of concealment to avoid service of the Contempt citation, service must be affected personally upon the Citee. Ex Parte Meyer (1933) 131 Cal.App.41, 43, 20 P.2d 732; Kronenberger v. Sup. Ct. (1961) 196 Cal.App.2d 206, 210

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