What is an Emergency Motion?

Once you have an active case in Cook County you may file an “Emergency Motion.”  This means that a certain and immediate issue in your case can be heard by the Judge who presides on your case or who is sitting in their stead on that day at a certain time when the Judge hears emergency motions.

Many attorneys hold the standard of  what an emergency is to “a sudden unexpected happening; an unforeseen occurrence or condition; perplexing contingency or complication of circumstances; a sudden unexpected occasion for action; exigency; pressing necessity.  Emergency is an unforeseen combination of circumstances that calls for [*278] immediate action.”

An example of an emergency may be that the child(ren) come home from visitation with concerning marks or questionable comments regarding the other parent and you want to restrict visitation until an investigation can occur.  Another possible emergency may be that you have a joint account with your spouse and all of a sudden he/she removes all of the money from the account; you would want to file an emergency motion to return that money and remain status quo throughout the divorce.

In Cook County, Emergency motions must be plead very specifically with facts identifying the nature of the sudden or unforeseen circumstances which give rise to the emergency and the reason why the matter should take precedence  shall be stated with particularity in an affidavit or verification in support of the emergency motion.

It is important that all of these steps are taken when presenting an emergency motion to the Court.  Otherwise opposing counsel will try to call you out on your nature of the emergency and if in fact it was not an emergency the Judge will become quickly annoyed and place your motion on the regular motion calendar.

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