a motion to punish for contempt in view of the fact that an appeal from the order of the Court has been taken and is now pending in the United States Court of Appeals. No supersedeas, however, has been obtained, and therefore the order is in effect and must be obeyed.
Rule 62 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C.A. explicitly provides that when an appeal is taken, the appellant by giving a supersedeas bond may obtain a stay. The necessary implication is that without giving a supersedeas bond or unless otherwise ordered by the Court, the order is not stayed, even though an appeal is pending. Otherwise a person could completely frustrate judicial proceedings by disobeying an order of the Court during the pendency of an appeal without giving any security that it will be complied with in the event of affirmance. The law is not as helpless in that respect as counsel would urge.
In Land v. Dollar, 88 U.S.App.D.C. 311, 324, 190 F.2d 366, 379, the Court emphatically observed that:
'An order issued by a court having jurisdiction of the persons and subject matter must be obeyed, even though the defendants may sincerely believe that the order is ineffective and will finally be vacated, even though the Act upon which the order is based is void, even though the order is actually set aside on appeal, even though the basic action becomes moot.'
The Court goes on to say that this must be the rule because of the necessity of orderly process under our constitutional system of government.
Counsel for the respondents cites the case of Helbig v. Phillips, 109 N.J.Eq. 546, 158 A. 441, 93 A.L.R. 706, in support of his contention. Since we are dealing here, however, with procedural matters, state decisions are not of much help because Federal procedure is governed by Federal Rules and by decisions of Federal courts, which differ on many points from the procedure prevailing in some of the States. It must be observed that the New Jersey case was decided in 1932. The New Jersey procedure was drastically re-vamped in 1948 under the new New Jersey State Constitution and has been made analogous to Federal procedure. In fact the Federal Rules with slight changes have also been made the rules prevailing in New Jersey. Consequently, there may be a serious question whether the Helbig case would be law today even in New Jersey.
Accordingly, the Court finds that both respondents are guilty of contempt of court in failing to obey the above-mentioned order of the Court, and directs that they be committed to the custody of the United States Marshal for the District of Columbia until they comply with the order of this Court just referred to. Upon so doing, they will be deemed to have purged themselves of contempt.
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.