Do You Need To Attend An Ex-Parte Court Appearance?
It is vitally important that someone, either an attorney you hire or the person who has been sued (your son), appear personally at the court date. An attorney might be able to request a continuance so his/her personal appearance will be left up to local procedure but if no one appears or notifies the court that a lawyer represents your son, then an order will likely be entered against your son that could have disastrous consequences including but not limited to incarceration in jail, fines, and other civil liberty restrictions. Do not ignore the summons (invitation to court) and do not miss the court date. My advice for anyone in this situation is to hire competent counsel to represent your son immediately. Because most order of protection (“ex parte”) laws require an expedited hearing date, then the defendant will usually only have a few days, perhaps less than 24 hours, to decide how to handle the case. DO NOT IGNORE THE CASE. It will likely not go away even if the plaintiff promises and swears up and down that the case doesn’t mean anything and that the plaintiff will not show up either so the case will be dismissed. Like Ronald Reagan said: “Trust, but verify.”