The refusal or intentional omission of a person who has been duly cited before a court to appear and defend the charge laid against him, or, if he is duly before the court, to obey some lawful order or direction made in the cause. In the former case it is called “presumed” contumacy; in the latter, “actual.” The term is chietly used in ecclesiastical law. See 3 Curt. Ecc. 1.

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