An ex parte order is any court order that is issued when one party is not present at the hearing. Such hearings are called “ex parte” hearings or ex parte judgments. Ex parte hearings are allowed in various circumstances, most notably when it is an emergency situation and the other party can’t be contacted, or if the petitioner needs immediate relief or protection.
In a family law setting, the most common type of ex parte order is an emergency or temporary restraining order. These are issued without the other party being present, and are common in cases that involve abuse or violence. As in most proceedings, the other party still should have formal notice of the hearing. However, if they don’t respond, the court may decide to continue with the hearing in an ex parte format.
This can be tricky- in most cases, ex parte judgments aren’t actually finally judgments, and only final judgments are immediately appealable. Ex parte rulings typically involve short-term decisions that may expire after a certain date, or that will be replaced by a more permanent ruling once the formal trial is completed.
However, the defendant may have other options for relief against an ex parte ruling. For example, they may be able to have the entire case vacated, or they can challenge on certain other procedural grounds. These can often be somewhat complicated and usually require the input and assistance of a lawyer.
Ex parte orders are very powerful tools that can produce legal effects in a very short period of time. Also, they can be difficult to deal with, since one party is not even present at the hearing. If you need help with an ex parte order such as an ex parte restraining order, you should contact a lawyer immediately. Your lawyer can help you get protection immediately. Or, if you need help challenging an ex parte ruling, an attorney can help you with that as well.
Last Modified: 09-14-2012 02:00 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.