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Here’s a great article from DelanceyStreet.com, a premier hard money lender, and divorce lawsuit funding lender. There is a lot to consider before calling the family court judge. The answer is not simple, especially if you are not aware of the legal complexities of calling a judge directly.
First of all, you can call the court to talk about scheduling or status, but that is about it. Now, talking to a judge is a completely different situation because the judge needs to remain as unbiased as possible. Direct communication with the judge could be seen as “ex parte communication,” which is only allowed under specific circumstances.
Ex parte communication happens when a party or someone in a party in an ongoing case talks to the judge directly. This law falls under the Judicial Code of Conduct. The law is there to also make sure that no one from the other party is able to talk to the judge during the ongoing case. Surely, you would not like a member of the other party talking to the judge.
There may be no ill-intent, but making sure that this separation exist helps keep public trust in the law and court process, which is vital. This is not to say that all communication will be banned. Those who want to talk to the judge about something regarding the case may file a written motion with the court’s clerk. The clerk is going to ask you to fill out a file that details why you feel you need a relief, which is just a legal way of asking the court to do something for you.
The written motion that you file has to be copied and sent to all parties involved in the case. Of course, you can also send the copy to the other party’s attorney. Copies have to be sent to the other parties before you even send in your file to the court for review. You also need to make sure you keep appropriate documentation that highlights how each party receives the motion. This could have happened using regular postal services or personal delivery; it does not matter. What matters is that you prove that every party was contacted.
The judge will wait to get a response from all parties involved regarding your motion before he or she even accepts your request to make sure that the decision is as fair as possible. Keep in mind that those in the other party have the power to refuse your request, though this is unlikely if the question or comment you want to make is a simple one.
Those who try to communicate with the judge before taking these vital steps could get in trouble, and it will be seen as a negative when the court date for your family court case finally arrives. Keep in mind that the judge will disclose any information regarding any communication you failed to disclose beforehand. You should also note that any evidence presented as part of the ex parte communication will probably be ignored or striked out.
It may feel silly to go through all of this just to ask one simple question, but it is necessary. You never know what you are going to end up saying when talking to a judge, which is the reason it is always best to be safe than sorry.
This is a crucial time in your family court case, and you need to give the judge an opportunity to process information. Delays are to be expected, and sometimes judges take some time to find the right answer, but that is your benefit. It is okay to feel anxious since this is your family on the line, but it is best to let things run its course. It might be a good idea to talk to your lawyer about the holdup or to the court itself rather than trying to go through this ordeal with the judge. You know you can talk to the judge about this if you go through the entire process, but what if you end up saying something you shouldn’t. It is just easier to simply talk to your lawyer or the court’s clerk about your status rather than the judge.
There is no doubt that a case like this one is hard on you and your entire family. Be sure to practice patience, and be as amicable as possible. The judge is going to come to a decision, so do not worry about that so much until it actually happens.
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