Ex Parte Hearings and Emergency Orders in CA Family Court

Ex Parte Hearings and Emergency Orders in CA Family Court

Ex Parte Hearings are sometimes called “Emergency Hearings” because a court mostly hears them in emergency situations. California Family Court judges may issue legal orders as a result of these hearings to protect a child, prevent personal injuries, and for other time-sensitive matters.

California Family Law Attorney Judy L. Burger and her team can represent you and handle the intricate paperwork required for ex parte hearings. Learn more about these proceedings and when “emergency orders” may be warranted.

What Is an Ex Parte Hearing?

Ex Parte is Latin for “from one party.” This describes the request from a single party to communicate and present evidence to the court with little or no notice to other involved parties. Under California law, such hearings are allowed when significant harm is imminent and immediate measures are required to prevent it. This threat of harm may supersede the normal right of the other party to be present and hear the charges or allegations against them.

These hearings are not for simple or even heated arguments or disputes. A pattern of bickering or disagreements is not enough to request an ex parte hearing. There must be an imminent threat of harm where emergency action is required.

In such an emergency, the court may elect to hear the presentation and issue legally binding orders ex parte. This may be in the presence of both or only in the presence of a single party. If both parties are not present, these court orders are completely lawful and enforceable, just as if the opposing litigant were present.

When Would I Request an Ex Parte Hearing?

​An ex parte hearing in CA family court may be requested by anyone who believes there is an imminent reason for a court order and can provide sufficient proof for needing an emergency order. Common reasons to request an ex parte hearing include the following:

  • To Protect a Child: Ex parte emergency orders are typically granted when there are allegations of child abuse, neglect, a threat of abduction, or other similar reasons when a child would need legal protection from serious harm.
  • To Prevent Physical Harm: Ex parte orders can be granted to protect an adult from possible domestic violence or other causes of imminent and serious harm. Preventing a personal injury from a previously violent person is a justifiable cause for an ex parte emergency order of protection.
  • To Prevent Financial Harm: Ex parte orders can also be requested if significant financial harm is imminent, threatened, or otherwise could cause serious loss to the victims. An example would be when one party claims a spouse is willfully destroying joint-owned property or marital assets, leaving the first party without a means of support.

​The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger can help you obtain ex parte orders in family court when imminent danger or other pressing needs arise. Contact the office nearest you for more information and to schedule a consultation.

How Do I Request an Ex Parte Hearing in CA?

​Several legal forms are required for requesting an ex parte hearing in California family court. You must also provide evidence for your request that the court will hear before granting any requests. Following is some of the information required:

  • Formal request for a hearing
  • Identity and contact information for involved parties and/or their attorneys
  • Reasons for an ex parte hearing
  • Any previous requests or orders on this or related matters
  • Any existing child custody, support, and visitation orders
  • Any notice made to the other party of this action or reasons why the opposing party should not be notified

Applicants must provide a full and detailed description of recent incidents showing the threat of or actual harm to a child, other person, or property. The evidence must demonstrate the harm that could be suffered without the requested emergency orders in effect.

A family court may grant ex parte orders on the evidence of filed paperwork alone, or they may request some oral testimony or other evidence.

Get Help from a California Certified Family Law Specialist

Judy L. Burger is a CA Certified Family Law Specialist with extensive experience in ex parte hearings and related matters. She can explain more in a confidential consultation and take swift action to request such hearings when warranted. Contact the closest location of The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger when threatening domestic circumstances arise and you need advice and assistance.

Different Types of Restraining Orders in California Family Law Cases

Different Types of Restraining Orders in California Family Law Cases

An important tool to help a victim of threatened or actual domestic violence is an order of protection from the court. This civil court order, called a restraining or protective order, commands the abuser to stop the abuse or suffer punishment by the court. The type of restraining order entered depends on the process used to get the restraining order.

The restraining order entered in emergency situations is called an emergency protective order. A situation is considered to be an emergency when a police officer responds to a domestic violence call or when someone has made a report of abuse to the police. In such cases, the police can request an emergency protective order under California Family Code § 6250. The court can enter an emergency protective order without first holding a hearing, but this type of protective order is only good for seven days.

If a victim needs a protective order for a longer period of time, or if the victim wants to apply for the restraining order without police involvement, he or she may apply to the court for a domestic violence restraining order. Abuse is considered to be domestic violence if the abuser is related to the victim as a spouse or former spouse; a person the victim is dating or has dated; a lover; the other parent of the victim’s child; anyone related to the victim by blood, marriage, or adoption; or a person who regularly lives in the victim’s home.

However, before entering a permanent domestic violence restraining order, the court must hold a hearing, and the abuser must have notice of the hearing. If, after a hearing, the court enters a domestic violence restraining order, that order may specify what the abuser can and cannot do to the victim or how near to the victim the abuser can be. Such an order may also include orders regarding child support, visitation, and custody orders if the victim and the abuser have children together; orders regarding possession of a shared residence or pet; orders for spousal support; or an order prohibiting the abuser from possessing a firearm. A domestic restraining order may be entered regardless of whether the court has previously issued an emergency protective order regarding the parties. A domestic violence restraining order can last up to five years.

If you are in immediate danger, the court may issue a temporary restraining order after processing the application but before a hearing.

If you or a family member has been a victim of domestic violence, seek help from a qualified family law attorney. The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced in helping victims of domestic violence get the protection they need. Call today to see how we can help you: (415) 293-8314.