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Ex Parte

Whenever the judge hears from one side only. Generally, ex parte communications are prohibited because they can be unfair and violate due process. Both parties must have the right to tell the court their side of the story. However, there are some emergency situations when the court might find it appropriate. For example, see ex parte protective order.

Question: Why would you opt for an ex parte rather than a restraining order? I do some volunteer work with a victim's rights center and we recently had a training over ex partes. I was wondering why a victim would choose an ex parte rather than a restraining order since an ex parte has no distance protection. I'm in Missouri so I don't know if it varies from state to state. Any suggestions or answers would be great.

Answer: I do not know what you were told in training but my understanding that an ex parte order of protection is indeed a restraining order and can include prohibition that the party restrained stay away from the petitioner. The "ex parte" designation means that the order is issued on application of the petitioner only, without notice to respondent and without a hearing. It is a temporary order that is served on the respondent and is followed by a hearing wherein the court determines whether to enter a full order of protection. I'm in Mo. too. Check the statutes. They set it all out.


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