What Is An Ex parte Hearing?

An ex parte hearing, means the respondent does not get notice of the hearing.

Often, a court will first enter a temporary or ex parte (ex PAR-tee) restraining order that will last for a few days. The judge issues this temporary order based only on allegations presented by the petitioner and without holding a hearing. 

The ex parte hearing will take place the same day that they apply for the restraining order or the next business day. At the hearing, the judge asked them some questions about their petition.  If they met the requirements for a Temporary Stalking Order, the judge granted them a Temporary Stalking Order. If they did not meet all the requirements, the judge should have dismissed their petition. 

After a Petition for Stalking Order is filed, courts generally lean on the side of caution and will find probable cause to enter a Temporary Stalking Order. I find that MOST stalking petitions do NOT meet all of the requirements of “stalking” and the judge only grants the petition in order to hear the evidence in the contested court hearing.

If the judge grants them a Temporary Stalking Order at the ex parte hearing, the judge will automatically set a contested hearing date. At the contested hearing, both you and the petitioner will have an opportunity to present evidence and tell your side of the story. They have the burden of proving that they meet the requirements for a stalking protective order. At the end of the contested hearing, the judge will either dismiss the Temporary Stalking Order or grant them a permanent Stalking Order.

Even if the claim is completely and objectively bogus – do not violate the Temporary Stalking Order. Violating the Temporary Stalking Order can destroy your case.

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