Massachusetts Criminal Procedure Rule 43: Summary Contempt Proceedings
(Applicable to District Court and Superior Court)
(a) Availability of Summary Proceedings. A criminal contempt may be punished summarily when it is determined that such summary punishment is necessary to maintain order in the courtroom and:
(1) the contemptuous conduct could be seen or heard by the presiding judge and was committed within the actual presence of the court;
(2) the judgment of contempt is entered upon the occurrence of the contemptuous conduct;
(3) the punishment imposed for each contempt does not exceed three months imprisonment or a fine of five hundred dollars.
(b) Nature of the Proceedings. Before making a judgment of contempt and imposing punishment, the presiding judge shall give the contemnor notice of the charges and at least a summary opportunity to adduce evidence or argument relevant to guilt or punishment. If the judge then determines that the sentence he would impose may be in excess of three months imprisonment or a fine of five hundred dollars, he shall bind the contemnor over for trial to be held in accordance with rule 44. The judgment of guilt of contempt shall include a recital of those facts upon which the adjudication of guilt is based and shall be signed by the judge and entered on the record. Where the interests of orderly courtroom procedure and substantial justice require, the presiding judge may defer imposition or execution of sentence until after the trial is completed.
(c) Appeal. The contemnor's only right of appeal shall be to the Appeals Court.