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Fist Fight in Charlotte Courtroom, but is it Contempt?

One of the great equalizers of our criminal justice system is when families of victims & alleged perpetrators are often brought into the same courtroom.  Emotions run hot with tragic results.  Yesterday, a fist fight erupted in courtroom 1150 while the ADA was performing an official function of calling docket.  The Judge was not in the courtroom at the time. NCGS 5A-13 distinguishes Direct and Indirect Contempt.  Direct occurs in the presence of the judicial official in or near the courtroom and is likely to disrupt the proceedings.  Direct may be determined & punished on the spot, usually with Jail or a fine. Indirect may be punished after a hearing. So while these pugilists were saved from going to jail on the spot by the absence of the judge, they can still be charged with Indirect Contempt.

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