TN 9 (05-02)

GN 03106.061 Motions to Show Cause (Contempt Cases)


A motion to show cause requesting that SSA be held in contempt of a court order may be filed or threatened against the Commissioner or other agency officials if SSA fails to promptly and properly comply with a court's order.

On occasion, the court will order the Commissioner or other SSA official to appear in court to show cause why they should not be held in contempt; if the court finds contempt, it may impose some type of sanction. It is also possible that the court may impose a fine against SSA.

Contempt actions can be avoided by expeditious action whenever a court order is received for effectuation.


If the OALC and/or OGC inform you by telephone that a case involves possible contempt, follow the OALC/OGC instructions given over the telephone for expedited processing. If a claimant or a representative contacts the effectuating component and is distressed about the status of payment on a court order, take the following action:

  • OCO notify OGC, OPL;

  • FOs should contact the ARC-MOS or other designated component;

  • PSCs/ARC-MOS, notify Regional Chief Counsel;

immediately. Such a sensitive inquiry may indicate that a contempt action is being contemplated. (See GN 03106.020B. for a hyperlink to OGC addresses and telephone numbers.)

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GN 03106.061 - Motions to Show Cause (Contempt Cases) - 08/29/2003
Batch run: 11/02/2017