Ex Parte Hearings

I just received Ex Parte (emergency hearing for request for orders) notice for a family law case for tomorrow? What happens next? Is this proper?

First things first, do not panic.
It is common and allowable under the Code of Civil Procedure and family code to give someone notice for an emergency hearing the day before. Most counties require an ex parte to be done by 10am the day before the hearing. When they called you, they should have told you the date, the time, the court room number, the county and a very BRIEF description of the hearing. For example, some common emergency hearings are orders for custody and visitation, injunctions and restraining orders.

How do I know what it is about?
Ask for a copy of the paperwork from the person who gave you notice. If it is an attorney’s office, they should have identified themselves and should give you the documents.The person filing the motion is supposed to give a copy of the paperwork to you the day before the hearing. At the very least, you can ask the deputy or court clerk for a copy of the paperwork before you appear in front of the judge.

What could happen?

Denied without a hearing:
Some courts, like Riverside County, may make a decision without a hearing. The court can deny motions without a hearing if there is insufficient support in the written request to justify an emergency hearing.

Granted without a hearing:
Some courts, because of the severity of the claim, the apparent risk, or some other factor, may grant the emergency order without a hearing. The court will then schedule a hearing within 21 days that will allow an opportunity for the responding party to prepare a written response and ask for a hearing.

Most counties, like San Bernardino, will have a hearing on the merits of the ex parte (emergency hearing for request for orders). The court usually schedules another hearing within 21 days so that you may be able to prepare a response even if the emergency request is granted or denied by the judge.

Do not exclusively rely on the online court records that are available. Included below are the links to Riverside County and San Bernardino County online case information. Even a proper noticed hearing may not be in the computer system yet.

If you are not sure if the emergency request has been granted or denied without a hearing, SHOW UP. You cannot expect to have your voice heard if you do not attend. If you are absolutely unable to attend, you can hire an attorney to appear in your place. However, even then, your attendance is a good idea if at all possible.

Need additional help in other family law areas besides information about ex parte hearings? Call the Law Office of Richard E. Bawden for legal issues regarding adoption, annulment, collaborative divorce, child custody, child support, divorce, domestic violence, legal separation, litigation, mediation, legal separation, paternity, spousal support, pre-marital and post-marital agreements? For more information, call Richard E. Bawden, State Certified Family Law Specialist, at 909.792.0222 or email us at [email protected] You might also want to get more information at our website: The Law Office of Richard E. Bawden serves the Inland Empire including Riverside, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Redlands, Loma Linda, Mentone, Yucaipa, Beaumont, Banning and Hemet.

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