The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the contempt charges in this neglect/custody proceeding were jurisdictionally defective:
We… conclude that the court erred in granting in part plaintiff’s contempt applications because they were jurisdictionally defective under Judiciary Law § 756. Section 756 provides that a contempt “application shall contain on its face a notice that the purpose of the hearing is to punish the accused for a contempt of court, and that such punishment may consist of fine or imprisonment, or both, according to law together with the following legend . . . : WARNING: YOUR FAILURE TO APPEAR IN COURT MAY RESULT IN YOUR IMMEDIATE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT.” It is well settled that the failure to include the notice or the warning language of Judiciary Law § 756 constitutes a jurisdictional defect, requiring the court to deny the application … .
Here, it is undisputed that plaintiff’s initial and amended contempt applications did not include, verbatim, the required warning language of Judiciary Law § 756. Importantly, plaintiff’s contempt applications omitted the language warning defendant that his “failure to appear in court may result in [his] immediate . . . imprisonment for contempt of court” (id.). Thus, because plaintiff’s contempt applications failed to include the required warning language, they did not strictly comply with Judiciary Law § 756, rendering them jurisdictionally defective … . Rennert v Rennert, 2021 NY Slip Op 01630, Fourth Dept 3-19-21