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Ex Parte Applications  

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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This research guide assists parties seeking an Ex Parte Order.

This guide is not intended as a substitute for doing your own research.


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What is an Ex Parte Application?

Normally, both parties to a case have the right to prepare and present their sides of the story before the judge makes a decision. However, for certain urgent requests, you may file an Ex Parte Application, which requests the Court to make a decision in a short amount of time. Because notice requirements ensure the procedure is fair for everyone, these applications are only granted in limited emergency situations, or cases that do not affect the other partes' rights, such as requests to correct clerical errors.

The procedure for an ex parte application is relatively informal, and does not have the same notice requirements as other motions. Typically, the opposing party has the right to appear at the hearing and present their side of the case.

If the request will affect the other party's rights, the judge may only grant an ex parte motion if allowed by statute. In addition, the application will only be granted if there is a factual showing of irreperable harm, immediate danger, or another statutory basis for granting ex parte relief.



Examples of situations where the court may approve an ex parte order include, but are not limited to:

  • Writ of possession for property that was stolen
  • Temporary restraining order where there is immediate danger that property may become unavailble for levy
  • Correcting a clerical error in a pleading
  • Appointing a guardian ad litem
  • Petition for an order prohibiting abuse

Provisional Injunctions
You may hear about ex parte applications in relation to injunctions. Provisional injunctions, which includes temporary restraining orders (TROs) and preliminary injunctions, are orders from the court that require someone to do or to stop doing something. Unlike a preliminary injunction, TROs may be granted ex parte, so long as all the other requirements for ex parte motions are met. If granted, a TRO will only last until until the court makes a decision on the matter at a later hearing, where all parties will recieve notice and have time to prepare their case.


San Diego Law Library


The Law Library has four branches in San Diego County with resources to assist you with your motion.


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