Ex Parte Law & Legal Definition


Ex parte refers to a motion or petition by or for one party. An ex parte judicial proceeding is on where the opposing party has not received notice nor is present. This is an exception to the usual rule of court procedure and due process rights that both parties must be present at any argument before a judge. It is in contrast to the rule that an attorney may not notify a judge without previously notifying the opposition. Ex parte hearings, petitions, or motions are usually temporary orders, such as a restraining order or temporary custody, pending a formal hearing or an emergency request for a continuance. Most jurisdictions require at least a good faith effort to notify the opposing lawyer of the time and place of any ex parte hearing.

"Ex parte communication" is a direct or indirect communication on the substance of a pending case without the knowledge, presence, or consent of all parties involved in the matter. Generally, ex parte communication is prohibited in legal proceedings.