What Is an Ex Parte Hearing?
In San Diego Family Law Court, whether a legal separation, divorce or paternity, emergency issues may arise. These issues may be resolved by the filing of a Request for Order for issues such as temporary exclusive use of a residence/car/business/et al or for spousal and/or child support and the parenting plan. When a Request for Order is filed, then the Court will set a hearing date. As the court is very backed up, the hearing date after filing may be several months away. For most issues, this is appropriate but [at times] this is too long and an emergency, or ex parte hearing, needs to be set. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC has experience in representing clients at ex parte hearings.
The procedure for setting an ex parte in San Diego Superior Court for a Family Law Case is per the local rules and procedures. This is an emergency hearing and there is a judicial council form for ex parte hearings along with other judicial council forms for the declaration regarding notice and service of request for temporary [ex parte] emergency orders and temporary [ex parte] orders.
A Request for Order must be prepared and submitted with the ex parte or at the ex parte for the emergency relief per the local procedures and rules. This hearing will allow a spouse or parent to make a request of the Judge without waiting for the normal hearing calendar. The parent or spouse who is requesting the ex parte relief must provide notice by 10am on the business day before the hearing and file the ex parte pleadings no later than 12pm the business day before. There are very rare instances where notice does not have to be given. The ex parte is filed in the same court house and department where the family law case is assigned. There is a filing fee for the ex parte unless you have [on file with the Court] a fee waiver.
Ex parte hearings are set for the following emergency reasons. Many parties in a family law case feel that the issue is an emergency but the Court has some definitions of what is considered an emergency for an ex parte hearing.
First, will there be irreparable harm or immediate danger to a party or the child or children if the emergency relief is not granted?
Second, will there be immediate damage or loss to property subject to division and jurisdiction in the family law case?
Third, is this a procedural matter only such as an order shortening time of setting/continuing a date?
The first legal hurdle will be whether this is a legal emergency and the Judge can deny the ex parte request if they find it is not. If the Judge believes your request does not meet the legal standard for a legal emergency, the Judge can order the time for the hearing to be much shorter than if you filed the motion. You may ask for emergency relief and, in the alternative, an order to shorten time for the hearing. Of course, both of these are at the Judge’s discretion. An experienced attorney at Doppelt and Forney, APLC can discuss with you whether your ex parte is appropriate.
The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC has lawyers who are experienced in ex parte hearings as well as other facets of family law cases. If you are considering an ex parte hearing, feel free to set a free and confidential consultation with an attorney for up to 30 minutes in their office. Call 800-769-4748 to set. Their law office can appear for ex parte hearings in all courts in San Diego County including Vista, El Cajon, downtown San Diego and Chula Vista. Having a realistic expectation can make an enormous difference in your case and this starts with a consultation.