Motion to show cause - Pro Se


#1

Hello and Good Afternoon,

I am representing myself in my divorce case, I did have a lawyer on retainer but the cost ultimately exceed my means and we had to part ways. Recently my ex has been denying my access to my two oldest children, we have four total. She is stating that they don’t want to come with me and that she is not going to make them. A Judge has signed a Memorandum of Judgement laying out, clearly, the custodial responsibilities of each party. I am filling to hold her in civil contempt and I am also alleging that she is commit deliberate acts causing alienation and estrangement.

There ages are 14 and 11. This is all new and recent. In the past, my relationship with the children has been strong, loving, and overall wonderful. I filed a Motion to Show Cause and an Order to Appear yesterday and the sheriff will be serving her shortly. I would like to get some feedback on the paperwork that I filed, I do not know what to expect, especially from her legal counsel. I want to be organized and present my case in the most prepared fashion possible. Any feedback, tips, criticism, or pointers would be welcome and appreciated.

Is there a way to share the documents? Post them? Link them?

Thank you in advance.


#2

You filed the correct paperwork and there should be a court date assigned in the Order to Appear and Show Cause.

At the court date, the burden is on your ex to show why she should not be held in contempt of court. You should be prepared for a trial. You should be ready to testify and prove that your ex is (1) violating the order, and (2) that it is a willful violation. You can submit texts, emails, etc. as evidence if this helps your testimony.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#3

Hi Anna,

Thank you so much for you response. I did schedule a date when I filed the paperwork and I am working to prepare. I have texts, emails, and recorded video of me trying to pick up the kids from her house (per the court order) and her refusing and causing a scene. I am prepared to present all of this evidence. I am planning to bring in my laptop and play the videos for the judge.

I am worried about getting tripped up in regards to the evidentiary process and then having my efforts negated. Can you offer any resources, guidelines, or tips that would aid me in these efforts?

In the Motion to show cause I laid out approximately 10 examples of her alienating behavior, all of which have occurred within the last 60 days. During the trial (or is it a hearing?) will I be allowed to bring up instances, occurrences, and issues that are not laid out explicitly in the motion? Can I reference an event or altercation that occurred, for example, 6 months ago. For clarification, our initial court order was issued on 8-4-2017, so I am asking if I can bring up an issue from 8-20-2017 even if I did not explicitly spell it out in the motion, although I do believe it is pertinent and will help my cause.

Thank you again for offering such a strong and useful resource. I really appreciate it!!


#4

The word “trial” and “hearing” are often used interchangeably and mean the same thing.

You will need to lay the proper foundation to have videos, photos, and texts/emails entered into evidence. You will need to state that they are true and accurate depictions/representations of what you saw/observed/read/etc. at the time and that they have not been altered in any way. For texts and emails, you will also need to state that you associate the phone number and the email address to your ex and that she has in the past communicated with you through that phone number and email address.

It is a good idea to use your motion as a way to organize your case in chief at trial, You can bring up other instances as long as they are relevant to the show cause issue.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#5

Hi anna,

Once she has been served is there a possibility that her counsel could have this hearing continued? Or delayed? What are the parameters in this regard when filing a motion to show cause?

As always, thank you so much!

Zachary Skidmore

zskidmore@yahoo.com


#6

It’s possible that her attorney could file a motion to continue, but he or she would have to show good cause for the matter to be continued. Court dates are not continued automatically upon filing a motion to continue. It’s up to the judge to determine whether or not to allow the motion to continue unless you consent to the continuance.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#7

Hi Anna,

We were in front of the Judge today and he allowed her to file a continuance, she claimed she was needing to retain counsel.

My question is…it is up to me to file put the next date on the calendar at the the Clerks office. Do I need to file a Notice of Hearing? and would I need to a Judge to sign off on that? And then I assume I need to have her served again…?

Thank you so much for all of your help and wisdom! Very much appreciated!!


#8

If you did not receive a new court date while you were in court and/or did not receive an order to continue with a new date, then you will have to file a new notice of hearing and serve the other party. A notice of hearing can be served by regular mail, but be sure to also file a certificate of service along with the notice of hearing.

A judge does not sign a notice of hearing, but be sure to follow your county’s local rules for calendaring cases, if any. For example, Wake County family court requires an additional Calendar Request form to be filed along with every notice of hearing.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#9

Hi Anna,

When I stood in front of the judge I did not receive a new court date, he said that it was up to me to calendar a new one. I filed a Notice of Hearing, and I selected a new date from the “sign up” sheet in the clerks office. I took the filed paperwork to the sheriff to have a deputy serve her.

I arbitrarily picked a date, is there a set time frame? I just went with two weeks…

On another note, our ED/Custody/Support case was set on for review a couple of weeks ago. During the review the Judge ordered that we calendar a trial date by 7-20-2018. I made multiple attempts to reach her and her counsel, I was never successful and nothing was calendared. What are my next steps here? I would like to file another motion to show cause to try and hold her in contempt again, is that the right course of action?

Thank you so much for your help!


#10

Typically there is not a timeframe for a new court date if the judge allowed one party’s motion to continue.

If you have received no response from the opposing attorney about a trial date, then you can schedule a trial date on your own by filing a Notice of Hearing and certificate of service, plus any local forms that may be required. However, you should first send to the attorney a list of dates that are available to you and the court and give a reasonable deadline for them to respond with their consent to a date. A contempt motion would not be the appropriate avenue in this situation.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.