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Family Docket Procedure for Emergency Hearings Family Division
[Civil] [Criminal] [Family] [Juvenile]

 * Request for Emergency Hearing must be filed with Domestic Clerk's Office in room 109 Courthouse East.

* Courtesy copy of pleadings should be provided to Sue German, Family Division Coordinator (Room 108, Courthouse East). 

* Upon receipt of pleadings, Ms. German will gather all pertinent information (telephone numbers, case files, information on other pending cases, etc.) and forward the request and accompanying materials on to the Family Division Special Master.

* Please do not contact the Master directly.

* The Family Division Special Master reviews the pleadings and makes a determination about whether an emergency exists.

* The criteria that the Master has established for emergency hearings is as follows:

* A child or children in immediate physical danger;

* Children who have been kidnapped;

* Other situations on a case-by-case basis.

* As a general rule the following are not considered emergencies (though determinations are always made on a case-by-case basis):

* Changes of custody in order to enroll children in school;

* Unsubstantiated threats to remove children from the jurisdiction of the court;

* Financial issues.

* If the Master determines that an emergency exists, his office will telephone counsel for the moving party and notify her/him of the date and time of the hearing. Typically, counsel will be notified within one or two days of filing.

* All parties must comply with provisions of Rule 1-351(b), requiring that the opposing party be notified of the date, time, and location of the emergency hearing.

* The moving party is responsible for notifying the nonmoving party of the date and time of the hearing. The moving party must also provide the nonmoving party with a copy of pleadings related to the request for emergency hearing.

* If the Master determines that no emergency exists, an Order Denying Request for Emergency Hearing will be issued.