How to File an Ex Parte

By Samantha Kemp
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An ex parte motion expedites the usually slow legal system. It is a request for a hearing without the other party being present. This type of motion is usually reserved for emergency situations such as if you feel that your child is in danger, you need to request an order of protection, your child’s parent has threatened to flee the area with your children or your spouse has said he will liquidate assets before your divorce proceeding. Because it is an emergency motion, it will be reviewed more quickly than a standard motion.

Acquire the court documents from the circuit court in your area. Go to the courthouse personally or obtain the documents electronically. Ask the court clerk for the ex parte motion documents.

Go to a notary public. Complete an affidavit that states why you need an ex parte hearing, rather than a traditional hearing. Sign the affidavit. Ask the notary public to sign and stamp the affidavit.

Complete the motion for ex parte paperwork. Fill in all of the information including identifying information for yourself and the other party. Add a proposed order to your documentations. This document should state what remedy you would like to receive from the court such as full custody of your child or an injunction to stop the sale of your assets. Include specific details that you would like the court to order and enforce. Include a list of people that should be subpoenaed for the hearing. Submit all of the paperwork to the court. Pay the court fee if applicable. Many courts do not charge for an ex parte filing fee.

Serve the paperwork on the other party. Although you are requesting a hearing without the other party being present, the other party is still legally required to be informed of the hearing in most cases. Ask the court clerk for rules on who can serve the paperwork as rules vary by state. Most states require that you should not be the person to serve the other party, a relative may not serve the other party and the server must be over the age of 18. Serve the papers by mail or hire a process server to serve the other party in person.

Wait for a response from the court. You will either receive a phone call or written communication. If your request for an ex parte hearing has been approved, you must obtain a copy of the order from the clerk. If your request for the ex parte hearing has been denied, a typical hearing will be scheduled. Appear at court on the hearing date.