When Ex Parte Orders Are Appropriate

Ex parte orders are sometimes used in family law cases when there is a sense of urgency.

What Is an Ex Parte Order?

An ex parte order is one that is made without the other party being made aware of it. They often provide instant relief, albeit on a temporary basis. They are issued when immediate relief is needed and when scheduling a regular hearing and providing notice to the other party is not feasible.

What Are the Advantages of Filing an Ex Parte Order?

When an ex parte order is made, it has the full weight of a court order behind it. This allows the party who receives it to immediately act on it. For example, if the ex parte order is for guardianship of an adult, the requesting party may usually get custody of the adult and take him or her to the doctor for treatment. Additionally, an ex parte order sidesteps the typically long process of waiting for a court order.

When Can an Ex Parte Order be Filed?

Typically, the situation must rise to the “emergency” level in order for an ex parte order to be issued. It is important in the American justice system for parties involved in a dispute to have notice of the proceedings, so for the party to be ignored, it must be an important issue. Typically, an ex parte order is only made when there is the possibility of immediate and irreparable injury.

What Are Some of the Reasons an Ex Parte Order Is Issued?

There are a number of reasons why an ex parte order may be issued. Some of the most common include:

To Protect a Child

If a child is being physically or sexually abused, an ex parte order may be issued in an attempt to protect the child. Before issuing such an order that could affect a parent’s custody rights, the court may require proof beyond the moving party’s claims.
Other cases involving a child may result in an ex parte order. However, states and individual judges vary on whether certain conduct will result in an ex parte order. For example, some judges may issue an ex parte order based on non-payment of child support, truancy or not abiding by a recently made order while others will not. Individuals who want to secure an ex parte order or other order regarding their child may wish to consult with a family law lawyer who can explain the requirements for the order and what arguments he or she may be able to make in an attempt to acquire the order.

To Prevent Personal Injury

One of the most common forms of an ex parte order is in a protection order for a victim of domestic violence. Courts around the country are required to grant ex parte orders when a person alleges that he or she has been abused by a family member, domestic partner or certain other individual. This order remains in effect until a hearing is held, usually within days or a couple of weeks after the ex parte order is issued.

To Prevent Significant Financial Harm

Another instance when an ex parte order may be issued is if significant financial injury may result by waiting for the regular proceedings to conclude. If a party will be destitute if the court does not take immediate action, the ex parte order may be issued. Likewise, if a divorcing party is destroying marital property or taking action that can adversely affect the other party’s finances or property interests, an immediate order may be issued ordering the party to stop.

Dangers of Ex Parte Orders

Ex parte orders can get an important issue in front of a judge and an immediate ruling. However, these orders can often bring about certain dangers. For example, the orders are made without a full hearing on the merits, making them an attractive target for abuse. A party may use an order of this nature in order to sidestep the requirement to provide notice to the other party so that he or she will not be able to defend against the action. This can cause the non-moving party to be denied due process rights. Additionally, ex parte orders may be used simply as an attempt to jump in line so that the party does not have to wait like everyone else for a hearing.

Legal Assistance

Individuals who are seeking an ex parte order may wish to consult with a family law lawyer who can explain whether an order may be appropriate under the circumstances.

Provided by HG.org

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws and.how they may affect a case.

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