How and when is a motion to compel used in Family court?
4 attorney answers
Motions to compel are typically used to move the court for an order directing one party to do something the party is required to do either by court order, local rule, rules of procedure, or statute. Oftentimes, actions giving rise to a motion to compel may also give rise to a motion for contempt and enforcement--particularly where there has already been a court order directing a party to do something and that party continues to fail to do what was ordered.
You are correct that a Motion to Compel is used during discovery when the other party is not keeping up with obligations in providing documents in a timely manner. If the other party ignores an Order granting a Motion to Compel, then the next step in a Motion for Contempt. Should an Order be granted on the Motion for Contempt and the other party ignores that, then the next step is the Motion for Criminal Contempt and the judge can sanction the other side including jail.
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A motion to compel is most often used to obtain answers to discovery requests that are overdue. If the other party is disregarding the judge's order, you may also file a motion for contempt/enforcement. I agree with my colleague that you should consult with an attorney before filing any motions on your own.
Your motion to compel can include all of those items, but fighting against an attorney pro se in a divorce is not advised. It rarely goes well for the pro se person
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