US v. Harris, No. 08-1553 - U.S. Third Circuit
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US v. Harris, No. 08-1553

Denial of incarcerated appellant's motion to vacate an order of civil contempt that has been in effect for over five years, which stemmed from a criminal proceeding in which defendant was convicted of conspiracy and fraud and sentenced to 188 months' imprisonment, is affirmed where: 1) the court permissibly structured the order of contempt so that it tolled the commencement of appellant's criminal sentence, such that only if and when the contempt order is lifted will he begin serving that sentence; 2) an order of civil contempt will only become punitive if a contemnor is unable to comply with the order, or if the circumstances indicate that a court is maintaining the contempt for an impermissible punitive purpose; 3) in this case, appellant can comply with the order in question at any time and the order will be lifted. 

Read US v. Harris, No. 08-1553

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the  District of New Jersey

(D.C. Crim. No. 03-Cr-00354-001)  

District Judge: Honorable Jerome B. Simandle

Opinion Filed September 23, 2009

Judges

Before: Barry, Smith, Circuit Judges, and DuBois, District Judge 
Opinion by Barry, Circuit Judge 

Counsel

Counsel for Appellant:  Edward F. Borden, Jr.

Counsel for Appellee: Norman Gross, George S. Leone