Commercial Division Blog
Non-Party Properly Held in Contempt for Violating Stipulation and Order of Which He Had Knowledge
On February 6, 2018, the First Department issued a decision in Tishman Constr. Corp. v. United Hispanic Constr. Workers, Inc., 2018 NY Slip Op. 00795, holding a non-party in contempt for violating a stipulation and order, explaining:
The court properly found that appellants disobeyed the stipulation and order, which was negotiated by the parties and set forth the conditions for protests held by UHCW. These conditions expressed an unequivocal mandate of which appellants were well aware, and their violation of the order prejudiced plaintiffs' right to conduct business without disturbance, thus justifying the finding of contempt.
The court properly exercised jurisdiction over Rodriguez, who is president of UHCW and who signed the 2012 stipulation and order that was subsequently violated. Although Rodriguez was not personally served in the action, it is undisputed that he was involved in the negotiation of the stipulation, and was knowledgeable of the conditions set forth therein. Furthermore, the evidence presented at the contempt hearing demonstrated that Rodriguez himself violated the court's mandates. Under these circumstances, Rodriguez, even as a nonparty, can be punished for UHCW's violations of the stipulation and order.
(Internal quotations and citations omitted).
No matter who you are or what kind of litigation you are involved in, you must obey the court's orders. As this decision shows, even if you are not a party to a litigation, you can be punished for violating the court's orders. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you or a client have have been accused of violating a court order.