In a family law matter you will come across issues that will required your immediate attention and action taken, issues that cannot wait 30+ days to be heard by the Court. Luckily we have the option of appearing in Court within 24 hours, this process is called Ex Parte.
An Ex Parte hearing is based on an emergency such as: harassment, domestic violence, threats, violation of court order, child being at risk, property issues, etc. anything that is considered an emergency and cannot wait the time it takes to file an OSC/Motion.
It is a simple and short procedure that an attorney and his/her paralegal must do to prepare for an ex parte application. First, you need to be aware of the California Rules of Court and your Local Rules of Court to file an ex parte application. It is very important that you know the Local Rules of Court of the County where your case has being filed. Each County has different Local Rules that must be following in order for your ex parte application to be proper. For instance, Los Angeles County requires you to give notice to opposing counsel/party before 10:00 a.m. the day before of the hearing (see Rule 14.27)
On the other hand, San Bernardino County requires you to give notice to opposing counsel/party before 10:00 a.m. the day before of the hearing and file and serve your Ex Parte documents before 12:00 noon of the same day you gave notice. (see Rule 1515.1).
This is just an example of how Counties are different from one another and we must know those rules before we give and prepare for an ex parte application. Shortly I will explain what I do when the attorney asks me to give notice for an ex parte. Note that it is also very important that you call the department where the case is assigned to, to find out when and at what time, they hear ex parte applications.
Preparing to give notice; first, before 10:00 a.m., I call opposing counsel/party, I ask for the person I am talking to, to identify him/herself so then I can put it down on my declaration, then advise him/her of when and where the application will be made and what our office will be requesting. I advise the person who I’m talking to, of the reasons why we are appearing in Court and what our requests will be including shortening time and attorney’s fees and costs. This will put some pressure on opposing counsel/party to be willing to resolve the issues at that time and avoid going to court.
Once I am done giving the ex parte notice I must do my declaration regarding notice based on the California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1204(b), stating the date, time I gave notice and the name of the person who I spoke to and what my notice was about.
Once the ex parte declaration is being done, I give it to the attorney to include it with the moving papers, which will include all the judicial forms that apply to the application, declaration of the client and points and authorities. After this, the attorney is ready to go to court the next day and present his/her case in from of the Court and request for his/her OSC/Motion to be granted. The outcome of the ex parte will be based on the type of emergency and also on the Judge who may deny or grant our requests.
Just remember that an ex parte application is to deal with issues that are believed to be emergencies and could not wait the time that a regular OSC/Motion takes to be heard. And that you must know your local rules before you start preparing for an ex parte application, you do not want to do all the work and later find out that your notice is improper because you did not follow the local rules of the County where the application is being made.