Most people want immediate relief from the Court during their divorce case. However, if you file a motion (known as a “Request for Order”), you likely won’t receive a hearing date for several weeks. However, depending on the nature of your request, you may be able to obtain immediate relief from the Court.
California Rule of Court 5.151 allows for ex parte (emergency) relief in the following situations:
- Make orders to help prevent an immediate danger or irreparable harm to a party or to the children involved in the matter;
- Make orders to help prevent immediate loss or damage to property subject to disposition in the case; or
- Make orders about procedural matters, including the following:
- Setting a date for a hearing on the matter that is sooner than that of a regular hearing (granting an order shortening time for hearing);
- Shortening or extending the time required for the moving party to serve the other party with the notice of the hearing and supporting papers (grant an order shortening time for service); and
- Continuing a hearing or trial.
Most ex parte requests are related to child custody and visitation. One parent usually wants an immediate order allowing them to see their child or an order prohibiting the other party from seeing their child. However, the Court is very limited in their ability to make such an order. Family Code section 3064 defines “immediate harm to the child” as follows:
- Having a parent who has committed domestic violence, where the court determines that the acts of domestic violence are of recent origin or are a part of a demonstrated and continuing pattern of acts of domestic violence.
- Sexual abuse of the child, where the court determines that the acts of sexual abuse are of recent origin or are a part of a demonstrated and continuing pattern of acts of sexual abuse.
It is also important to ensure that your ex parte application includes the required information, as the Court has discretion to deny the request if not submitted properly. Contact us today to discuss your specific case and assess the best course of action.