How To Request A Continuance For A Court Date

What exactly is a continuance?

 It changes or postpones the date of a hearing for an open case. When you do not believe that you have enough time to get prepared for a hearing, attend a hearing, or meet the filing deadline within the time frame for your case, you may desire to request for a continuance. Use these instructions if:

•           You have already been served with a motion within a family law case and

•           You will need to ask for the hearing to become continued.

To obtain a continuance for any trial, it’s essential to commonly:

•           File a motion with all the court and

•           Serve the other party.

Making a Request for a continuance for any court date

File a request for Continuance

 Many Americans face credit or house associated civil lawsuits just about every year. Though some will demand the solutions of a lawyer, these facing time in compact claims court frequently elect to represent themselves. Self-representation in minor economic settlements could be a very good strategy to save income, but what ought to you do should you cannot seem after you are ordered to?

Scheduling conflicts are widespread for modest claims defendants and plaintiffs alike. Should you have been issued a subpoena for any court time or date that you simply cannot possibly attend, you will not will need the costly solutions of an lawyer to reschedule. Filing a Request for Continuance on your own personal behalf is very simple, speedy and uncomplicated.

Actions to request a continuance

 The initial point you’ll need to request a continuance is actually a valid cause. This cause might be scheduling conflicts or the inability to obtain vital documents ahead of the assigned date. You’ll be expected to clarify your explanation within your request. Be certain that you are unable to resolve the scheduling conflict by yourself right when requesting a continuance. A court will eventually make a decision whether or not your request might be granted according to the purpose you’ve offered.

Scheduling conflicts could be valid causes to request a continuance. Having said that, the court should agree that you simply are usually not capable to reschedule the occasion that conflicts together with your court date, examples of valid life events consist of significant illness, a death inside your loved ones, previously scheduled court appearances, final exams within a formal education setting, or perhaps a significant operate occasion. Examples of invalid factors would include things like a routine function schedule, leisure trips, or youngster care.

  • You did not get served sufficient days just before the hearing. The number of days that you are supposed to become served ahead of your hearing depends upon the type of case and the county exactly where the case is filed. For those who don’t know the number of days prior to the hearing you were supposed to become served, check with a lawyer or maybe a court facilitator. E.G.: In cases when you were supposed to be served seven days just before a hearing, but you have been only served three days ahead of the hearing, it is best to inform the judge, and ask to get a continuance.
  • You want additional time to get prepared mainly because you cannot get legal counsel. Examples: In cases when you live far from the state or county you are to appear in, and you have contacted a number of options for advice but haven’t been capable to connect, clarify what actions you’ve taken to make an effort to get aid. Tell the judge when you’ve got an appointment to meet with an lawyer or other legal solutions.
  • You want extra time to respond due to the fact you might be disabled, are illiterate, or you have troubles with reading, or comprehension.
  • You usually do not speak English as your first language and you want more time to locate someone capable to translate the documents you had been served to prepare your response. (You should be aware that you have a right to an interpreter for any hearing in the event you usually do not speak English as your first language.)
  • You cannot get the proof that you require by the response date. E.G.: If there is an additional complaint more than the parenting strategy, and the other party wants to discuss issues about you that might be incorrect, you may require more time to get declarations from other individuals, school, health-related, and/or criminal records.

For your own personal sake, never ever request a continuance unless you’re positive that rescheduling your personal schedule is not possible. You might discover that acquiring a very first continuance just isn’t challenging, on the other hand, the court will most likely be much less friendly for subsequent requests. Additionally, wasting the court’s time is not going to establish you any friends after you ultimately attempt to defend yourself.

The info you demand to finish a Request of Continuance, like your docket quantity, may be identified around the original subpoena that was issued to you. When you no longer have access to that document, the facts might be accessed via the court clerk.

As well as submitting your request towards the court, you have to also provide a copy of one’s request (by mail or courier) towards the Plaintiff or their representative. The proper name and address are going to be contained inside the subpoena. It isn’t essential to have this request witnessed. On the other hand, you could opt to request delivery confirmation when mailing the copy for the Plaintiff or their representative.


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Posted in Child Custody, Courtroom Preparation, Family Court
10 comments on “How To Request A Continuance For A Court Date
  1. rhonda lang says:

    how do i get another court date if i missed the first preliminary court date and the judge made his decision already

    • Hello Rhonda,

      In situations like this you can request an appeal. Asking for an appeal can difficult though, since you basically are asking the judge to reconsider a decision they just made. But if you have a sufficient reason that is verifiable, the courts might consider re-opening the closed case. Contact the court house that issued the order and see what they say. Worst thing they can say is no. Hope that info helps you.

      • rhonda lang says:

        the thing is i had a restraining order put on me almost 3 wks ago and my ex took my children then and then i missed the court hearing this morning because ive been really sick with a double ear infection and upper respiratory. also they had called my work place making aligations also that i had been using drugs in front of my children which are untrue…to prove that it was untrue i took a blood drug test for work and for the court and of course it came back all negative of all drugs….and my work had wrote a statement saying someone had called harassing me making these aligations….so how do i go about getting another hearing since i missed this one and the judge extended the restraining order for another two yrs and gave my ex full custody of our 3 children…im unable to afford an attorney to help me either…

      • You have some great information Rhonda to back up your side.
        With restraining orders, they are really just smoke screens. What you want to focus on is getting into court for a visitation or custody order. However if you want to address the restraining order right now, contact the local court and speak with the judges clerk and explain what you just said here and if an appeal can be considered.
        Have you ever been to court for visitation or custody?

  2. rhonda lang says:

    i got served last night with another restraining order that extends till 2015 and im suppose to get visitations on every saturday…but the person the signed the alvidata is not able to supervise the visitations…i was suppose to get to see them today and didnt get to nor will i get to next saturday…im wanting to be able to get back in front of the judge and show proof that ive got from my drug test and statements from my work about them calling and harassing me and making the same aligations…so i can get custody back of my children…

    • Hi Rhonda,

      Sorry that you missed your visitation time recently. A restraining order is just a smoke screen, typically once you get a new visitation or custody order in place this can override any restraining orders that exist with the children.
      We should be able to help you get back into court with your request. Be on the look out for contact from one of our advocates to talk about this with you.

  3. richard lasking says:

    I have a custody hearing in two days. I have been in a custody battle with the mother for almost 2 years. I, the father, initiated the motion in filing for custody in VA and have had a lawyer the entire time. The mother has decided to go Pro Se the entire time. We have been to court 3 times. 1st time…the GAL was appointed. The 2nd time my lawyer asked for a continuance because the mother failed to fill out any of the forms we requested for her to…her excuse was…she didnt think she had to fill them out. The 3rd time the case was continued because the mother failed to participate in Co-Parenting classes and the judge wanted for us to try it to see if it would help us…….it hasnt.
    Now we just received the GAL pre-liminary report and the GAL is recommending to the courts that I, the father, get Primary Physical Custody. The mother has within the last weeks bashed me for getting a lawyer and telling me that lawyers are for the weak and all they want is my money and that I will never win. Well, after reading this pre-liminary report Im afraid she may decide to FINALLY lawyer up. What are the chances she be granted a continuance because of new counsel considering she has never had a lawyer and only decided to lawyer up after reading the GAL report?

    • Hi Richard,

      Thanks for writing to us. Keep in mind we are not a law firm or attorneys so this should not be considered legal advice. Sounds like things have been going towards the positive side for you since they seem to be in favor of you receiving custody and she has continued to fail with any requirements put forth by the court. That said, no one can tell what a judge will ultimately decide on in any situation. It was a smart move for you to hire counsel since the beginning even it may have been a sizable investment so far. Whether she is going to hire her own counsel now shouldn’t concern you since you have been well equipped up unto this point and your attorney should be able to adequately support any arguments or position she intends to bring up. Keep your head up and press on! This is only a season and you have fought the good fight. Don’t give up now.

      • richard lasking says:

        I cant Thank you enough for the quick reply. As a Father of a daughter things have been extremely hard on me, proving why Im the better fit for my daughter… She is my world and there isn’t anything I wouldnt do for her. While I know you do not provide legal advice, I cant tell you how much it means to read the encouragement…its been tough. With the stress and everyone telling me Fathers dont have a chance in a bias system….sad. Love your site and please keep on doing what you all are doing because it is “All about the Children”!

        If its ok, I will write back and let yall know how it went. Thank you for the encouragement…I needed that.

      • We are happy to help any way we can Richard, and thank you for the praise. All we attempt to do is our best and as a concerned parent we are sure you are as well. Keep disregarding those who state that the system is against fathers, as you are coming to realize that it is not the case. Any court’s general belief and desire is to have BOTH parents be equally involved in their child’s life as much as possible as long as they are fit parents. Any honest judge or lawyer will confirm that.
        Keep the faith.

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