Ex Parte

August 11, 2023


An Ex Parte (Ex-Parte) action is a streamlined legal proceeding, which is usually heard by a judge in court. Ex-parte actions are usually served on parties somewhat differently than most other court proceedings.

Ex-parte actions are served with either limited, regulated, or with no notice served upon the affected party(s); of the ex-parte hearing and/or the potential order granted. If notice is required, it is served on the affected party(s), usually defendants or judgment debtors.

This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment broker, and am not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.

Ex-parte motions can be for many reasons, including preventing someone from moving or transferring an asset, or to get something done very quickly. An ex-parte motion usually requires an appearance by the moving party in the court’s law and motion department; with court papers showing a declaration, a memorandum of points and authorities, and a proposed order.

If your ex-parte proposed order is granted, it must usually be served on the opposing party. If service of the order is required, have your process server ready to serve it immediately after the judge issues the order; because it will not be effective until that is done.

In California, CCP 708.120 (a), states that first, an ex-parte application must be provided by the judgment creditor, with proof that a third-party probably possesses or controls a judgment debtor’s property (worth at least $250). Then, the court will make an order directing that third-party person to appear, to answer questions about the property or debt. Because this is provided by law, this unique and limited type of judgment creditor ex-parte application can usually be filed at the court clerk’s window.

In summary, from a judgment recovery perspective, ex-parte motions are for situations where things must be done now. If the court clerks will not process your ex-parte order, I would not recommend complaining about the clerks to the judge. Instead, press the urgency of your situation, and that a delay would mean the debtor’s available asset to satisfy your judgment will likely be gone.

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