Article 3, Section 1

[Volume 4, Page 194]

Document 34

Edward Livingston, System of Penal Laws, tit. 5, C. 11, 51--52


Art.     . If any one shall, during the session of any Court of Justice, in the presence of the court, by words or by making a clamour or noise, wilfully obstruct the proceedings of such court, or shall refuse to obey any legal order of such court made for the maintenance of order, or to preserve regularity of proceedings in court, it shall be lawful for the said court to cause the offender to be removed by the proper officer of justice from the building in which the sessions of such court are held; and if such offender shall persevere in returning to and disturbing said court, it shall also be lawful for them to cause him to be imprisoned during the time the court shall be in session during the same day; and the party offending against this article is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by fine not exceeding twenty dollars, and by imprisonment not exceeding three days.

Art.     . If any person shall, either verbally in court, or in any pleading or other writing addressed to the judges in any cause pending in any court of justice, use any indecorous, contemptuous or insulting expressions, to or of the court or the judges thereof, with intent to insult the said court or any of the said judges, he shall be punished by simple imprisonment not more than fifteen days, and by fine not exceeding fifty dollars; and the fact of the intent, with which the words were used, and also whether they were indecorous, contemptuous, and insulting, shall be decided by the jury, who shall try the cause. The said punishment shall be doubled on a second conviction for an offence under this article; and for a third, the party shall in addition to the said punishment, if an attorney or counsellor, be suspended for not less than one nor more [Volume 4, Page 195] than four years from practicing in the said court as attorney or counsellor at law, or as attorney in fact.

Art.     . If any one shall obstruct the proceedings of a court of justice by violence, or threats of violence, offered either to the judges, jurors, witnesses, parties or attorneys or counsellors, he shall be fined in a sum not less than one hundred and not exceeding five hundred dollars, and by imprisonment, in close custody, not less than ten days nor more than six months; and if the offender be an attorney or counsellor at law, he shall be suspended from practicing in such court for not less than one nor more than three years, either as attorney or counsellor at law, or as attorney in fact.

Art.     . Courts of justice have no power to inflict any punishment for offences committed against their authority, other than those specially provided for by this code and the code of procedure. All proceedings for offences, heretofore denominated contempts, are abolished. All offences created by this chapter, shall be tried on indictment, or information in the usual form.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 4, Article 3, Section 1, Document 34
The University of Chicago Press