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Am I required to appear at an ex parte hearing/scheduling conference? The notice only names the Plaintiff's attorney.

Winter Park, FL |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

I'm the defendant/counterclaimant in a circuit civil case. There's been one hearing, at which time the judge admonished the opposing attorney and I to "work it out". The opposing attorney has since filed several aggressive motions against me, and an outrageous motion for temporary injunction which is basically a gag order. He's offered no exhibits, cited no case law, and this motion was 7 pages of repetitive, unsupported blather. I'm pro se, and can usually figure out most issues online or at the law library, but this time, I'm stumped. Do I have to be at this hearing? Also, I thought a scheduling conference was not a hearing, but that's what the notice says. Thanks.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Typically I would say that only attorneys need to appear at ex parte hearings and scheduling conferences. However, since you are acting pro se, yes you do have to appear. You never want the other party's attorney to attend a hearing or any other type of appearance without you being there to know what happened.

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6 comments

Asker

Posted

This is where I'm confused. There are so many definitions of ex parte, most meaning only one side is required to be there. Why is the judge calling this hearing ex parte, if I have to be there? What happens if I'm not there? The notice doesn't have my name on it.

Jennifer Ann Jacobs

Jennifer Ann Jacobs

Posted

Civil judges have "short matters/ exparte hearings" at the same time- we tend to call all hearings at that time ex parte. It is usually for hearings on unopposed motions. If you don't go, whatever motion being addressed at the hearing will be granted and you will not be able to give your input. Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile ---------------------------------------- This email was sent by: Avvo, Inc. 1501 4th AveSuite 1900 Seattle, WA, 98101-1588, USA We respect your right to privacy - visit the following URL to view our policy. ( http://click.mail5.avvo.com/?qs=7e2ff0f7eb49191ae2484056df86b824f6af6d24fc863faa71b500c249d70e808bc5f2e0a8f1043c ) ----------------------------------------

Asker

Posted

That's what I would assume under normal circumstances, however, the notice says it's a scheduling conference. I didn't think judges ruled on motions during a scheduling conference. Could this be a clerical error? I've already caught 2 errors on the online docket.

Jennifer Ann Jacobs

Jennifer Ann Jacobs

Posted

Usually judge's don't rule on motions during a scheduling conference. However, even at a scheduling conference the judge wants to know from both parties what the status of the case is and how each side wants to proceed. If I remember correctly, one of your complaints was that the other attorney was stalling. You would want to be at a scheduling conference to try and move the case along rather than allow the other side to try to continue to drag it out. Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile ---------------------------------------- This email was sent by: Avvo, Inc. 1501 4th AveSuite 1900 Seattle, WA, 98101-1588, USA We respect your right to privacy - visit the following URL to view our policy. ( http://click.mail5.avvo.com/?qs=896bb0fc72ae92450325d74aa00d00cf34af7f318422bc9ccc241c8e53feb1beee7802bb28d70c6a ) ----------------------------------------

Asker

Posted

Thanks again, Jennifer. Now I'm starting to understand. My complaint is that the opposing attorney is bullying me, and filing numerous frivolous motions, which he knows will never be ruled on in his favor. He's accusing me of stalling, by filing my countersuit, and refusing to have a general magistrate rule on all pending motions. I refused, because I had been in a cardiac unit for 2 days, and was supposed to avoid undue stress. Representing yourself is very stressful, even though their suit has no merit, and the claim itself is full of lies, (easy to prove). Is it possible that the judge will throw their case out? You know how over crowded the dockets are in Orange County. Thanks again.

Jennifer Ann Jacobs

Jennifer Ann Jacobs

Posted

Unfortunately, no matter how overcrowded the dockets get, the judge won't throw the case out without you requesting it through a motion for summary judgment. Good luck! Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile ---------------------------------------- This email was sent by: Avvo, Inc. 1501 4th AveSuite 1900 Seattle, WA, 98101-1588, USA We respect your right to privacy - visit the following URL to view our policy. ( http://click.mail5.avvo.com/?qs=d80c7e0e72f625c645f1032e69dfbaa97bbd95034eeb383741f05f8608b34ba8d997cb65d915e4d8 ) ----------------------------------------

Posted

To supplement Ms. Jacobs' response, you want to be at any hearing where the attorney for the other party and the judge will be, for several reasons. The other attorney may make an honest error and you would be there to correct the error. The other attorney may make a deliberate error and you could correct that. Also, it will let the judge see you as a person, not a name on a piece of paper. And, you can make requests of your own. The attorney asks that you do something within 10 days, you can ask for more time, explaining why 10 days is too short.. Or the attorney asks for more time to do something, you can ask for less, explaining why the time they are seeking is unreasonable.

I hope you found this response to be of assistance. This response shall not be considered the rendering of legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. While Avvo is a wonderful resource, nothing can be a substitute for an in-depth consultation with an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the law is to be applied. This response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.

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