Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pro Se paperwork question. Family Court

Q:  How do you file an Order to Show Cause pro se in family court? The clerk told me that only a lawyer can file this. The clerk also suggested I file a writ of habeas corpus but I am not sure if that would be the right petition. My ex has denied visitation for over a month now.

A:  David's Answer:  The Clerk is simply explaining that they are not necessarily obligated to draft an order to show cause for you. Generally they do, but otherwise you can simply file a violation petition, get a summons & have a court date in 2-4 weeks. Frankly, even if you file an order to show cause, you're not likely to get an earlier court date anyway. Also, no need to file a habeas corpus petition - that is usually only done when you're the custodial parent & the other parent kidnaps the child. A violation petition is all you need to protect your rights. That said, I'd advise you to schedule a consultation with a Westchester Family Law Attorney for a full assessment.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

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