What is an Ex Parte Application in Family Law?
Ex parte motions, or “emergency” motions, are common in divorce and custody cases. Ex parte relief is requested when it is impractical or impossible to wait the minimum statutory period for the court to hear a “regular” motion.
A request for ex parte relief from the court must be made in a written application.. In addition, a declaration must accompany the application that makes a factual showing of the need for the relief, notice provided and whether the other party will appear. The party requesting relief must personally appear or his/her attorney (if represented). The judge usually has very limited time to read the papers before taking the bench so it is critical that the relief requested is clearly stated on the caption page and in the memorandum of points and authorities. Being concise will be appreciated. The party opposing the ex parte application can orally oppose the relief without filing a written opposition. However, it is helpful to state in writing the reasons for opposing in the event the judge has time to consider them before hearing arguments. Opposing papers may be filed directly with the department that the hearing will be held.
Ex parte applications are often heard after the court's morning calendar, so be prepared to wait.Ex parte applications are often heard after the court's morning calendar, so be prepared to wait. Counsels are required to lodge a proposed order that specifies the exact relief sought. The proposed order should also contain a few blank lines in case the judge has additional orders. Ex parte relief is not meant to "cut in line" of the court's calendar. It is meant for "emergency" type scenarios, in which immediate risk of irreparable injury will occur. Because of the technical aspects of the application, it is not an easy thing to do without an attorney, especially in light of the need. Call my office at 310-601-7144 if you need immediate help.