In family law matters, both parties to a case are entitled to what is called proper notice. That means that both sides in a divorce or custody action deserve the chance to be made aware of what is being alleged in a court proceeding, and to be afforded an opportunity to respond accordingly before a judge or referee rules on the matter. However, sometimes the circumstances in a particular case are so dire or emergent that a judge will grant what is called an ex-parte order without giving the other party the benefit of a hearing. This means that a judge can make a decision having heard only one side of the story and order accordingly, when the judge deems it appropriate and necessary.
While the judge’s decision in an ex-parte order is immediate, it is not final. The opposing party has 14 days from service of the order to object to the judge’s decision in the order and request a hearing on the matter. At that time, the judge will give the opposing party the opportunity to respond to allegations made against them and convince the court that the decision made in the order was not the appropriate remedy. Should the opposing party not object, the ex-parte order will become the final decision on the matter until further pleadings are filed with the court.
Outside of family court, ex-parte orders may similarly be entered if a judge decides a personal protection order is necessary immediately. If the judge determines a person is in danger, or is in fear of immediate harm, a judge can decide a protective order is appropriate and enter an immediate order accordingly, which will attach to the criminal record of whom the protection order is against. Just like in family law cases, the party who receives a personal protection order against them has an opportunity to object to the order and request a hearing with the judge who ordered it. At that time, the judge will determine whether the protection order should remain in place.
If you’ve been served with an ex-parte order, in family court or otherwise, The Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz can help! Call today and ask to speak with an experienced family or criminal law attorney to get the resolution you need!