Ex Parte literally translates to “with the interests of only one party.” Legally, it is a situation where one party submits an application that requests orders from a judge on an extremely expedited basis (ie. a wait of only 25 hours instead of the usual weeks or months to get a ruling), and, sometimes that the other side not be given an opportunity to be heard on the issue.
As you can imagine, to most non-lawyers, such an application sounds pretty nice: it is fast and the other side either does not get to respond, or, has very little time to respond. However, legally speaking, in California an Ex Parte application is much more difficult to get granted than your average motion. This is because judges are extremely cautious about making orders when all of the facts are not before them, or, the opposing side does not have a chance to state their case.
Thus, Ex Parte orders are usually only granted in very extreme and emergency cases. This includes cases where domestic violence or other imminent physical harm is present. Or, cases where if immediate orders are not made then permanent and irreparable harm will be visited upon the party. Permanent and irreparable harm means that money could not compensate someone for the loss later on down the road. Moreover, each county in the San Francisco bay area (from Santa Clara to Alameda to Marin) has their own process on the intake when handling an Ex Parte Applications adding further difficulty to the process.
That said, Ex Parte applications may be filed in almost any kind of case, from Real Estate disputes, to medical malpractice, to family law and domestic violence actions. The San Francisco based bay area lawyers of Jones & Devoy have experience in filing Ex Parte applications, and, can advise if one is right for your case.