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Can I find a lawyer for my civil restraining order case at the last minute without notifying the other side about it...

Los Angeles, CA |

I am thinking about hiring a lawyer for my civil restraining order (domes. viol based on threat) as I was falsely accused. I have already responded to my soon to be ex, but without an attorney. Can I still retain one at the very last minute even when I have filed what is needed with the court and have also responded my ex. Basically, am I obligated to notify in advance of the attorney or can I find one anytime before the hearing and go to the hearing with one. Also, if I want to transfer my attorney fees on my ex because of his false accusations for wasting my time on nonsense (assuming that I win), can the attorney request the judge for the transfer of my fees in court during the hearing or do I need to file FL-150 in advance.

I do not want to end up going to the hearing with an attorney just to find out that I had to notify the court through my response DV120 & FL-150 Income declaration form in advance. My time is also limited, so that is why I might find someone affordable the last minute as I am looking right now. Please advise as it's an emergency. Thanks.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Your attorney could make his/her first appearance at the hearing, although the person requesting the restraining order *could* request a continuance to obtain their own attorney as well. While the person who is requesting the restraining order should be ready to proceed at the 1st hearing, especially if you have shown up, some courts may be willing to allow them a short continuance to get an attorney to level the proverbial playing field.

With respects to your request for attorney's fees, the court *may* award attorney's fees to the prevailing party under California Family Code section 6344. This is discretionary with the Court and is oftentimes determined by looking at the parties' respective incomes and ability to pay. To this end, you should file and serve a FL-150 in advance of the hearing with any and all necessary attachments.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you. I got a continuance myself, while the other side can not afford a lawyer. So the question is..having responded to the spouse and the court, can I retain an attorney at the very last minute, and go to the hearing as a surprise to the other side regardless of what they request after. Am I allowed to hire a lawyer without first notifying the court about it. This nuance is what confuses me.

Asker

Posted

P.S. If he is not working and neither am I...will the judge not grant him the fees for my attorney or he might. Should I still try to transfer the fees if I retain a lawyer or there is not point if the guy sin't working. I know that he had an accident and got $$ from the insurance, but not sure how much. He is causing my lots of financial problems as I need to fly to where he filed it and I am not working myself...my parents are paying for the 'trip' and perhaps for the lawyer, but I want to be compensated for it as he has filed false restraining order against me. (civil)

Sarah Jeannette Arnott

Sarah Jeannette Arnott

Posted

You do not need to notify the Court first before retaining counsel.

Posted

Yes, you have every right to have an attorney represent you even if you hire him/her at the last minute. I am including a link below which may prove helpful. 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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Posted

The answer is yes you can hire a lawyer and you can seek attorneys fees. You will have to prevail and still the judge may or may not award attorneys fees.

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and I have practiced over 38 years and can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practiced mainly in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. I am not seeking clients from existing relationships with other attorneys, and give only limited advise over the phone (the phone is primarily used to set appointments), these services do not create an attorney client relationship. I apologize for mispelling< as I am a lousy typist, My answers may offend as I do not believe in pulling punches or sugar coating the truth. Further regarding courts in other states my opinions are largely based on logic and what I think is the modern trend which is to consider the needs of the child.

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Posted

Yes!

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