Family law cases are typically time sensitive matters. This is especially true for child custody cases. Depending on the specific facts of your case, it may be necessary to get in front of the judge as quickly as possible to file for emergency orders. In California, parties may file for emergency hearings called ex partes. When you file an ex parte hearing, you are literally skipping the line in front of other individuals who have filed regularly noticed hearings. As such, it is imperative that you have significant facts that actually constitute a real emergency.
What Constitutes an Emergency to File an Ex Parte?
California’s Family Code Section clearly defines what constitutes an emergency to justify an ex parte hearing. Under Family Code Section 3064(a), the court has authority to grant or modify an order for temporary custody on an emergency basis in the following two situations:
1. There is an immediate harm to the child;
2. There is an immediate threat of removal of the child from the State of California.
Under the code section, the term immediate harm means, but is not limited, to the parent committing acts of domestic violence or the child being at risk of sexual abuse.
Notice Requirement for Ex Parte Hearings
Proper notice for ex parte hearings varies from one county to another. In some counties, you only need to give 24 hours notice. In other counties, you may not need to give notice at all. If your specific county requires notice, California Rules of Court 5.151 requires that the notice must:
“(A) State with specificity the nature of the relief to be requested;
(B) State the date, time, and place for the presentation of the application;
(C) State the date, time, and place of the hearing, if applicable; and
(D) Attempt to determine whether the opposing party will appear to oppose the application (if the court requires a hearing) or whether he or she will submit responsive pleadings before the court rules on the request for emergency orders.”
Regardless of the county, little to no notice is required for you to file an ex parte hearing. As such, if the court grants your ex parte hearing, you are required to go back to court for an actual hearing within 15 to 20 days. If you need to file an ex parte child custody hearing, it is best to immediately speak with an experienced Central Valley family law attorney.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are going through a divorce or are planning to file for divorce in the near future, you need to hire an experienced divorce attorney to help protect your legal rights and make sure this already traumatic experience proceeds as smoothly and painlessly as possible.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Central Valley divorce attorney Gurjit Srai, please call us at (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.