Why would a rule nisi be filed after a civil court?
The precise reason will depend on the nature of the action and facts involved. Generally, a rule nisi is issued to give someone an opportunity to explain why an action or court order shouldn't be enforced. For example, after a divorce decree is issued, one of the parties may ask the court to find the other party in contempt for not complying with the decree. A rule nisi may be issued to allow the party sought to be held in contempt a chance to explain why a contempt charge shouldn't apply.
The following are GA statutes:
19-6-28. (a) In addition to other powers specified in this chapter, the
(a) In addition to other powers specified in this chapter, the court
shall have the power to subject the respondent to such terms and
conditions as the court may deem proper to assure compliance with its
orders and, in particular, shall have the power to punish the respondent
who violates any order of the court to the same extent as is provided by
law for contempt of the court in any other action or proceeding
cognizable by the court. Any proceeding for compliance pursuant to this
authority shall be a part of the underlying action, and a motion for such
enforcement shall not constitute the filing of a new action or require
the payment of a new filing fee.
(b) In any proceeding to enforce a temporary or permanent grant of
alimony or child support by attachment for contempt, the petitioner may
serve the motion and rule nisi by mailing a copy of the motion and rule
nisi by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the respondent at the
respondent's last known address together with two copies of a notice and
acknowledgment conforming substantially to the form specified in
subsection (c) of this Code section and a return envelope, postage
prepaid, addressed to the sender. If service is perfected by
acknowledgment of service in this manner, the petitioner shall file with
the court the acknowledgment of the respondent; and such filing shall
constitute a return of service. If no acknowledgment of service under
this subsection is received by the petitioner within ten days after the
date of such mailing, the petitioner shall notify the clerk of court and
deposit the costs of service and service of such summons shall be made as
provided in Code Section 9-11-4. The costs of such service shall be
charged by the clerk of court to the respondent unless the respondent
after motion and hearing establishes to the court that there is good
reason why such person should not be so charged. A child support contempt
motion shall be served upon a respondent with a notice that contains a
date certain for hearing which shall be no later than 30 days from the
date of service of the motion, unless good cause for a later date is
found by the court, in which event the time for a hearing may be extended
for up to 30 days.
(c) The form for notice and acknowledgment under subsection (b) of
this Code section shall be substantially as follows:
IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF __________ COUNTY
STATE OF GEORGIA
V. ) Civil action
) File no. ___________
RULE NISI NOTICE AND
To: (insert the name and address of the person to be served)
The enclosed motion and rule nisi are served pursuant to Official Code
of Georgia Annotated Section 19-6-28.
You must complete the acknowledgment part of this form and mail one
copy of the completed form to the sender within ten days of the date
of mailing to you, which date is set out below.
You must sign and date the acknowledgment. If you are served on behalf
of another person and you are authorized to receive process, you must
indicate under your signature your authority.
If you do not complete and return this form to the sender within ten
days, you or the party on whose behalf you are being served will be
required to pay any expenses incurred in serving a summons and
complaint in any other manner permitted by law unless good and
sufficient cause is shown to the contrary.
If you do complete and mail this form, you or the party on whose
behalf you are being served must appear and show cause why you should
not be attached for contempt at the time required by the enclosed
I declare, under penalty of perjury, that this Notice and
Acknowledgment of Receipt will have been mailed on the date set out
Date of mailing
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT OF
SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT
I declare, under penalty of perjury, that I received a copy of the
motion and of the rule nisi in the above-captioned manner at (insert
Printed name of signer
Authority to receive
service of process
Date of mailing
(d) Service in accordance with subsections (b) and (c) of this Code
section is in addition to any other method of service provided by law.
15-11-97. (a) If any person named in and properly served with summons shall
(a) If any person named in and properly served with summons shall without
reasonable cause fail to appear or, when directed in the summons, to bring
the child before the court, then the court may issue a rule nisi against
such person, directing the person to appear before the court to show cause
why such person should not be held in contempt of court.
(b) If the summons cannot be served or if the person to whom the summons
is directed fails to obey it, the court may issue an order to take the
child into protective custody.
Please see the information at the following links: