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  • Writer's pictureAndew McKeown

Emergency Ex-Parte Orders in Orange County

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

Going through divorce, child support, or child custody proceedings can be very time consuming and often take months or even years to resolve. The volume of proceedings that take place in family courts make it normal for court dates to be set months apart. What happens when there is an emergency situation and you need the court to take immediate action?


What is an Ex-Parte

An ex-parte essentially asks the court to make an emergency order as soon as possible to prevent immediate danger or irreparable harm to the party or children that may be involved in a matter. “The purpose of a request for emergency orders is to address matters that cannot be heard on the court's regular hearing calendar.” California Rule of Court 5.151(b).


Situations that pose immediate danger or irreparable harm to the party or children involved in the matter include, but are not limited to:

  • Concerns of domestic violence or child abuse;

  • Neglect;

  • Sexual abuse;

  • Substance abuse;

  • Acts of child endangerment;

  • Taking a child out of state in violation of an existing custody order;


Requesting an Ex-Parte

An application for an ex-parte must identify the relief requested along with, among other things, a declaration containing all of the facts that are within your personal knowledge to demonstrate why emergency action is appropriate and facts that show there is immediate danger or irreparable harm. An ex-parte must also let the court know that you have given the other party in the matter appropriate notice of the ex-parte.


In Orange County, according to Orange County Local rule 704, which is also seen on the Declaration Regarding Notice of Ex Parte Application (Form L-1124), notice has to be given to the opposing party or their attorney if they are represented by counsel by no later than 10:00 a.m. on the court day before the ex-parte is to be presented to the judicial officer. If the ex-parte involves domestic violence, notice must be recieved no later than four (4) hours before the ex-parte is to be presented to the judicial officer.


Ex-Parte Hearings

At an ex-parte hearing, the requesting party has to prove or convince the court that there will be some irreparable harm if the court does not act or that a child is in immediate danger. Proving irreparable harm or immediate danger can be done by providing evidence that is relevant to the alleged harm. After the hearing, the court can make emergency orders that align fully or partly with the relief requested in the application.


Court orders that are a result of the ex-parte application and hearing are typically temporary and remain in effect until a following hearing.



Conclusion

An ex-parte can be a very useful tool when a party and/or children in a case are faced with a dangerous situation or irreparable harm. That being said, an ex-parte is a very serious form of aid and not a way to circumvent the other party’s privileges, especially in matters of child custody. If you believe you or your child are involved in a situation that poses a risk of immediate danger or irreparable harm, your first step should be consulting with an experienced family law attorney.


The attorneys at Harris & McKeown Law Firm have been assisting clients throughout Southern California with their family law needs for over 10 years. If you are located in Orange County or its surrounding areas and you need help with an ex parte application schedule a consultation appointment online or by calling (949) 297-6529.


**DISCLAIMER**


THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT AND THIS GUIDE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE READER AND ITS AUTHOR. IF YOU HAVE LEGAL QUESTIONS, CONSULT WITH A FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY.




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