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Show Cause Hearing

Show Cause Order

A Show Cause Order is a document issued by the court informing a party that they are being summoned to appear in court to show cause why something should or should not happen.

A court may issue a Show Cause Order, if a party misses a court date or simply fails to appear at a hearing set by the court,  for the failure to appear. 

After a party files a Petition for Contempt, the court may issue a Show Cause Order signed or stamped by a judge that identifies that the court has reviewed the Petition for Contempt and the facts asserted in the petition and outlines the dates for when the petitioner must provide the order and petition to the other party or parties, when the alleged party in contempt must respond by, and orders the alleged party in contempt to appear for a Show Cause Hearing to be held before the court, to show cause, if any, why the petitioner should not be granted the relief requested in the Petition for Contempt.  

Depending on the Maryland Circuit Court that issued the Show Cause Order, the court may set in a Prehearing Conference or a Contempt Hearing, depending on the facts asserted in the Petition for Contempt. 

A petitioner may request that the party in contempt serve jail time in order to enforce the court order. When jail time is requested, the court and petitioner must provide Notice to the other person regarding the request for jail time. 

If you have received a Show Cause Order and jail time is requested, contact a legal team that can inform you of your rights and responsibilities, contact us by phone (410) 415-3617, or online to set up a phone consultation

Show Cause Hearing

A show cause hearing can be heard before a Magistrate or a Judge. Depending on the court that has issued the Show Cause Order, the Order may identify whether the hearing will be held by a Magistrate under Maryland Rule 9-208(a)(1)(G), or before a Judge. 


A party may request that jail time be issued for the alleged party in contempt, and if requested on the Petition, then Notice must be provided to the alleged person to be in contempt of court of that request including the following:

  1. It is alleged that you have disobeyed a court order, are in contempt of court, and should go to jail until you obey the court's order.
  2. You have the right to have a lawyer. If you already have a lawyer, you should consult the lawyer at once. If you do not have a lawyer, it may explain how a lawyer can be helpful to explain the allegations against you, helping you to determine and present any defense to those allegations, explaining to you the possible outcomes and assisting you during the show cause hearing. 
  3. If you do not appear for a scheduled preheating conference, magistrate's hearing or court hearing before the judge that you may be subject to arrest. 

Show cause hearing dates are set pretty quickly from the date of the Show Cause Order, usually within 60 days of receiving it. Knowing the rules, your rights, and responsibilities are important to successfully pursue the Petition for Contempt, respond to a Show Cause Order, and pursue the facts asserted and defend against the allegations at a Show Cause Hearing. 

Knowing your rights when pursuing or responding to a Show Cause Order is important. Contact a legal team that can assist you through the process. The legal team at Jerry Williams III, LLC can assist you during any point in the process including if you only need an unbundled attorney with assistance through some parts of the case when you are handling other parts of the case on your own. Set up a phone consultation at (410) 415-3617. Or click here to Contact Us