Since there are so many family law cases in the courts, it can take some time before a Judge will be able to hear your matter. In some cases, it is necessary for the Court to hear the matter in a short time period and without providing notice to the other party that a Motion is being submitted. It could be a matter related to the children or financial matters.
How do I know if a Motion is seeking Emergency Relief?
Your motion will need to include the following for the Courts to start to make a determination about whether a Motion is seeking emergency relief:
- Is the Motion seeking Ex-Parte relief (Having the Judge make a ruling without having the other party know that the motion has been filed)
- Do the facts in the Motion show that there will be immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage if the other party can be heard to oppose the allegations in the motion.
- The Motion needs to show why providing the other party with notice will lead to the actions for which you are seeking the emergency relief.
- In addition the Motion must be verified by the party filing the Motion. It must be signed by the party filing the Motion and notarized before filing with the Court.
What is considered an Emergency?
While one judge might consider a matter to be an emergency, another judge might not consider it to be an emergency, there are a number of issues that the court considers an emergency for purposes of an Emergency Motion:
- One parent removes a child from the jurisdiction to keep the child from the other parent
- If the children are in immediate danger if they remain where they currently are located.
- If a party is going to take assets that are subject to Equitable Distribution.
Do I have to provide the other party a copy of the Motion when it is filed?
Because it is an emergency motion, it is filed with the Court and forwarded to the Judge for review without the other side receiving a copy of the Motion.
Why doesn’t the Motion get sent to the other party like other pleadings and motions in the case?
Because you are seeking a Court order to stop something that you feel rises to the level of an emergency, if the other side gets a copy of the Motion before the Court can rule on it, the other party may do what you are trying to keep them from doing.
What can the Judge do with the Emergency Motion
Once the Judge reviews the Motion, there are three options for the Court: The Motion can be granted or the Motion can be denied as an Emergency, but is important enough that the Court will consider it on an expedited basis. Finally, Motion can also be denied as an Emergency, the Judge does not think that an expedited hearing is needed, and the matter is to be heard as a standard Motion filed with the Court.
What happens if an Emergency Motion is granted?
In addition to entering the Order, the Court will set a hearing time because the other party is entitled to be heard by the Court to challenge the allegations in the Emergency Motion and Order.
How long do I have to wait for a Hearing if an Emergency Motion is granted?
There is no specific time for an Emergency Motion to be set once it is granted, but the hearing on the Emergency Motion is usually held within a week of the Motion being granted. If the Emergency Motion is not granted, but the Court feels that it is an important matter for an Expedited Hearing, how long do I have to wait for a hearing? Similar to the Emergency Motion, there is no specific time frame for an expedited hearing to be set, but it is usually within two weeks of the Court entering its order.
If I file a Motion for Emergency Relief and it is denied, will that affect my case?
The fact that you file an Emergency Motion that is denied should not affect your case. However, if you file a number of Emergency Motions that are denied, some courts have imposed sanctions for filing Emergency Motions that were not actual emergencies.