Can I call the Family Court Judge to ask what the holdup is?
Before you attempt to dial the number of the family court judge, you should understand a few things about it. Due to the legal complexities, you can’t call a judge directly. You can, however, speak with the court about the schedule or status of your case. Unfortunately, you can’t do much outside those two things. You can’t speak with the judge because he has to stay unbiased to the case. Direct communication might legally classify under the Latin phrase, “Ex parte.” Special circumstances may allow for ex parte communication like:
- Circumstances require communication for emergency, scheduling or administrative purposes.
- The judge deems it that no party will gain a tactical or procedural advantage.
- With the consent of the other parties.
- When the communication has been authorized by law.
Ex parte communication falls under the Judicial Code of Conduct, and it exists to ensure no one from the other party speaks to the judge during the case. It is there for courtesy because, surely you wouldn’t want a member of the other party speaking with the judge. Even if there wasn’t ill-intent, this law keeps the judge impartial to the case and gives the public more trust in the legal and court process.
Not Always out of Bounds
Communication isn’t always banned. For those who need to speak to the judge about the case, you might file a written motion through the court clerk. The clerk wil ask you to fill out a file to detail the reasons for speaking with the judge. This is the legal way to ask the court to do something for you. After you file the written motion, it gets copied and sent to all parties of the case. You might also send the copy to the other party’s attorney, but a copy must be sent to the other party before you can send this file to the court to have it reviewed. You will need to document how each party recived the motion. For example, did they receive the motion via postal services or through personal delivery? In truth, it doesn’t matter, but you must prove how you contacted every party of the legal case.
What Happens Next?
The judge waits for a response from each party involved in the case. He waits because he must ensure the decision to contact the judge remains a fair one. Those in the other party have the power to deny your request, but the chances of that are unlikely if you have a simple comment or question.
Never Communicate with the Judge without Approval
Speaking with the judge without approval can hurt the proceedings of the case. It will be viewed as a negative against the case when your family court case arrives. The judge discloses the information regarding communication you failed to communicate it beforehand. In addition, evidence presented because of the ex parte communication will most likely be ignored.
It sounds silly especially if you have one simple question, but it remains necessary to keep the courts fair. You never know what you might say to the judge when speaking with him, which is why you should avoid it if possible. Delays in court can be expected, and in some cases, a judge takes time looking for the right answer to benefit you.