773. Amount of fine. If an actual loss or injury has been caused to a party to an action or special proceeding, by reason of the misconduct proved against the offender, and the case is not one where it is specially prescribed by law, that an action may be maintained to recover damages for the loss or injury, a fine, sufficient to indemnify the aggrieved party, must be imposed upon the offender, and collected, and paid over to the aggrieved party, under the direction of the court. The payment and acceptance of such a fine constitute a bar to an action by the aggrieved party, to recover damages for the loss or injury.
Where it is not shown that such an actual loss or injury has been caused, a fine may be imposed, not exceeding the amount of the complainant's costs and expenses, and two hundred and fifty dollars in addition thereto, and must be collected and paid, in like manner. A corporation may be fined as prescribed in this section.
If a fine is imposed to punish an offense committed with respect to an enforcement procedure under the civil practice law and rules or pursuant to section two hundred forty-five of the domestic relations law, and it has not been shown that such an actual loss or injury has been caused and the defendant has not appeared upon the return of the application, the order imposing fine, if any, shall include a provision granting the offender leave to purge himself of the contempt within ten days after personal service of the order by appearing and satisfying the court that he is unable to pay the fine or, in the discretion of the court, by giving an undertaking in a sum to be fixed by the court conditioned upon payment of the fine plus costs and expenses and his appearance and performance of the act or duty, the omission of which constitutes the misconduct for which he is to be punished. The order may also include a provision committing the offender to prison until the fine plus costs and expenses are paid, or until he is discharged according to law. Upon a certified copy of the order imposing fine, together with proof by affidavit that more than ten days have elapsed since personal service thereof upon the offender, and that the fine plus costs and expenses has not been paid, the court may issue without notice a warrant directed to the sheriff or other enforcement officer of any jurisdiction in which the offender may be found. The warrant shall command such officer to arrest the offender forthwith and bring him before the court, or a judge thereof, to be committed or for such other disposition as the court in its discretion shall direct.
Last modified: February 3, 2019