How to File an Ex Parte in California

by Lindsay Nixon; Updated September 26, 2017
California, like most other states, has strict rules and procedures for filing ex parte motions.

The term "ex parte" loosely translates from Latin to mean "by one side" or "by one party." It refers to situations where a judge meets with one party to a lawsuit but not the other party or parties. Typically this is forbidden, with the exception of ex parte motions. Ex parte motions are typically emergent in nature. On an ex parte motion, one party appears before the judge to get immediate relief for a pressing situation.

Items you will need

  • Ex parte form
  • Filing fee
Step 1

Complete California's standard Ex Parte Form for the type of matter at hand. For example, there are separate ex parte forms for domestic issues and civil issues. These forms can be located online through the California Courts Self-Help Center website (see Resources).

Step 2

File the completed form in the court where the case is being heard, and pay the appropriate filing fee, if any.

Step 3

Serve the completed forms by fax, mail or delivery to all other parties to the motion. In California, notice by telephone is not sufficient.

Step 4

Prepare to go to court and argue the motion before the judge. The court will schedule a time and date you may appear for the ex parte motion, or the court will set the matter for a regular hearing at a later date.

About the Author

Lindsay Nixon has been writing since 2007. Her work has appeared in "Vegetarian Times," "Women's Health Magazine" and online for The Huffington Post. She is also a published author, lawyer and certified personal trainer. Nixon has two Bachelors of Arts in classics and communications from the College of Charleston and a Juris Doctor from the New England School of Law.

Photo Credits

  • Legal Law Justice image by Stacey Alexander from Fotolia.com