How to Write a Letter to Extend Your Court Date

By Ireland Wolfe ; Updated May 31, 2017
Woman typing letter on laptop computer

The process for extending court dates vary. In some districts, you may have to file a motion for continuance. Some courts do not accept letters, so a simple letter will not suffice in those cases. However, if you have been instructed by the court to write a letter for your request, there are some things you should include. The letter should be professional and typewritten. It also should be sent to the court in plenty of time to reschedule your hearing.

Do Your Research

Call or visit the clerk of the courts and follow procedures. Inquire if you need to file a motion for continuance or if a letter will work. Also, ask about any fees. And remember, that you may or may not be allowed to file for a postponement depending on the type of court case and how soon to your court date is approaching.

Formatting the Letter: the Introduction

Format your letter as a business letter. Include your address and date on top of the letter. Put the judge’s name and the court’s address underneath the date in your letter. Include a memo line with your case number. Then, address the letter to the judge who is overseeing your case. Don't forget to include your request for continuance in the opening paragraph.

Formatting the Letter: The Explanation

Specify the reason you are asking for an extension in the next paragraph. You may want to include how long of an extension you feel you need. Remember to go into as much detail as possible, as it will help the court decide whether or not to grant the postponement.

Formatting the Letter: Closing

Close your letter with contact information so the court may inform you of a new hearing date, if granted. Sign your letter and proofread the letter for any mistakes in spelling, grammar or punctuation.

Things to Remember

It's prudent to make a few copies of the letter. Then, mail or deliver one to the court, the other party (if your case is a civil matter) and keep a copy for your records.

Don't forget to check with the clerk of the courts before your hearing date if you do not hear a response. You do not want to be in contempt of court for missing your original hearing date if no new date is set.

About the Author

Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.