Criminal Contempt for Being Late for Court Cases
In re Hayes, 185 Ga. App. 818, 819 (1) (366 S.E.2d 204) (1988), in which the solicitor was 15 minutes late to court because he "had an office full of people all wanting to avoid court this afternoon. . . ." Id.
In addition to finding this conduct alone insufficient, this Court noted that the trial court had also relied on evidence not contained in the record.
Further, as noted in In re Brant, 230 Ga. App. 283, 285 (1) (496 S.E.2d 321) (1998), Hayes involved a situation in which the contemnor was late due to circumstances beyond his control and, as noted in Hayes, supra, while the solicitor was going about the duties of the state court, although not present in the courtroom.
Brant is more factually similar to the present situation. There, attorney Brant was representing a client whose case was first on an 8:30 a.m. trial calendar.
Brant was not present when the court called the calendar. the court then conducted other business and called the calendar a second time, but Brant still was not present.
Brant stated he was in the bathroom during the first call and was going to his car to get some papers during the second, although he had been in court in the interim.
Because Brant disrupted the court proceedings and interfered with the orderly administration of justice by disregarding the court's command, his conviction of criminal contempt was upheld.