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Am I the plaintiff or petitioner when filing a FL-300?

Los Angeles, CA |

My wife filed for divorce initially . When I request an order on the FL - 300 am I still the respondent / defendant " ? ALSO , do I fill in item 2 ( a ) or does the clerk set the time & date . In # 9 it asks the person requesting the order if they want to shorten the time . not knowing the time from which to start from if I file the FL - 300 on Tuesday what is the quickest amount of time for me to request . I am trying to prevent my wife from removing my construction equipment from the home I use to live in which she listed on the FL - 142 . THANK YOU ANYONE OUT THERE

Attorney Answers 3


You are and will always be deemed the "Respondent" in the Dissolution of Marriage action. However, both the "Petitioner" and "Respondent" can be the "moving party" in a Request for Order. In your case, you fill out the form designating yourself as the "Respondent" and completing the rest of the form indicating what you are asking the Court to do.

I strongly suggest that you make an inventory of the construction equipment in the former family home. If there is not a restraining order preventing you from entering the family home, I suggest that you send an email indicating your desire to meet at the home so you can take pictures of the equipment as well as any other "community property." This will protect you should she decide to sell the equipment--as you will then ask the Court for half of the fair market value of the items she sold.

It is very important that you complete your FL-142 as thoroughly as possible, especially given that you are the "out" spouse. The time between the initial filing and the final judgment may be longer than you'd like, and you don't want your belongings to grow legs and walk away, so to speak.

If you are unable to work because she will not give you access to your construction equipment, then it only hurts her in the long run, as she will be the cause of lost income--which will ultimately affect the child support and spousal support numbers, if applicable in your case.

It is difficult to tell based on the facts you provided if this is an "emergency" warranting what is called ex parte relief, but it may be. It is best to consult with an experienced family law attorney to determine if you need to file an ex parte application or request an Order Shortening Time.

Once you complete the Request for Order, you will file it with the Family Law Filing Clerk, who will assign you a hearing date and time. Thereafter, you must serve your wife with a copy of the papers not less than 16 court days before the hearing if by personal service. You cannot serve the papers yourself as the law requires that the person serving the documents is at least 18 years old and NOT a party to the action. She will have an opportunity to file a Responsive Declaration and must serve it on you not less than 9 court days before the hearing. You will then have an opportunity to file a Reply, which must be served 5 court days before the hearing.

I am including links below which will provide you with some basic information regarding the issues which often come up in divorce actions. Take the time to educate yourself, and you will be better off for having done so. Good luck.

If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button or "Best Answer" at the bottom of this answer. By answering this question, the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not intend to form an attorney-client relationship with the asking party. The answers posted on this website should not be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not make any representations about your family law matter, but rather, seeks to provide general information to the public about family-law related matters. You should consult with an attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case. Thank you.

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Yes, you are still the Respondent, even though you are the moving party vis-à-vis the Request for Order. The Clerk will complete the section for the date and time of the hearing.

When you file the Request for Order, it is set for a hearing in due course. If you want an Order Shortening Time, you will need to go ex parte and request a truncated date from the judicial officer. However, there are many procedural requirements to this, and you must establish good cause.

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Yes, you remain the Respondent. I agree with counsel above in that the technicalities involved in filing a motion, are complicated at best and to extensive to explain in this forum. Additionally, I already commented on your problem with the tools and had advised you that you already have an order prohibiting her from disposing of your equipment and that you need to immediately contact law enforcement to arrange a citizen stand by when you go to get your property.

Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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