Mahady Law and Legal Definition
Mahady refers to the case Mahady v. Mahady, 448 N.W.2d 888, 891 (Minn. Ct. App. 1989) wherein it was held that a civil-contempt proceeding has two stages. Before a party may be held in contempt for failure to abide by an order, the district court must determine that the obligor had the ability to pay the obligation, set purge conditions, determine whether the contemnor has the ability to meet the conditions, and determine that confinement is likely to produce compliance. The second stage of a two-stage civil-contempt proceeding occurs after the contemnor has allegedly violated the terms of the conditional-contempt order. Before incarceration can be ordered, the contemnor is entitled to a hearing on the issue of the contemnor’s performance or non-performance of the purging conditions contained in the conditional-contempt order.
In short, in a contempt proceeding, court may find obligor in conditional contempt and set conditions to allow obligor to purge contempt and, at second stage, determine whether obligor failed to comply with purge conditions without excuse. The purpose of civil contempt proceedings is to induce future performance, not to punish past nonperformance.