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Emergency Motions - Ex Parte and Probate

How to schedule hearings including restraining orders or when there is an immediate risk for harm.

Superior Court hears emergency motions Mondays through Fridays from 2 to 3 pm. Instructions for how to get on the calendar depends on the type of hearing.

Emergency motions on the calendar fall under:

  • Motion for Immediate Restraining Order and/or Temporary Family Law Order
  • Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause
  • Motion for Stay of Execution (Unlawful Detainer)
  • Motion to Shorten Time (which require notice) for hearings set in Ex Parte
  • Motions to Quash Temporary Orders

Examples include

  • Motions for temporary restraining orders when personal safety is at risk
  • Motions for orders where there is an immediate risk to child safety or there is a risk of child abduction.
  • Motions when a person’s basic financial survival is at risk with housing, paying for food or utilities, or having access to critical healthcare.
  • Emergency motions on parenting issues where the health and safety of a child or adult is at risk.

We do not hear

  • Writs of Habeus Corpus
  • Motions with Agreed Orders Underlying motion related to a (proposed) Order Shortening Time.
  • The Court will only hear the Motion to Shorten Time on the Emergency Motions calendar and then set the return hearing on the appropriate future calendar.
  • Non-Emergency Domestic Matters (such as Entry of Order to Show Cause for Contempt with enforcement provisions).

Protection Orders

Ex parte requests for protection orders are heard in-person and by Zoom every day on a drop-in basis. Before appearing on any protection order matters in Ex Parte, you must first visit the Clerk’s Domestic Violence Protection Order Office to complete and submit the appropriate paperwork. If you have questions about scheduling protection order hearings of any kind, please continue to work with the Clerk’s Office.

Family Law Matters

We hear motions for family law immediate restraining orders. 

You must go to Family Law Motions Scheduling to set the return date for your motion before appearing in Ex Parte. A lawsuit generally must be pending before the court can provide restraining orders.

You may need to file a modification petition if the restraining order affects children.

Civil Matters (Non-Family Law)

Before appearing in the Ex Parte and Probate Department for a temporary restraining order, you must first schedule a time with the case's trial department (LCR 65(b)). This is done by emailing or calling the assigned judge's bailiff. Visit the Judges Directory to obtain department contact information. The time on a temporary restraining order cannot exceed 14 days until there is a response from those involved in the order (CR 65(b)). 

Scheduling on the Emergency Motions Calendar

  • Pick a hearing date and time

    Pick an open spot on the Ex Parte Calendar Availability 2 or 3 pm on Monday through Friday.

  • File your documents and submit your proposed orders:

    To schedule an emergency motion, an Ex Parte Notice of Hearing and all documents that will be considered must be filed in the Clerk’s Office (either eFiled or physically delivered) no later than noon on the day of the scheduled hearing.

    Your documents must be viewable in KCSCRIPT by noon the date of the hearing. It is highly recommended that you eFile your documents to ensure they are immediately available in KCSCRIPT. E-Filing requires documents be submitted in PDF. You may not submit photographs of documents.

    How to E-file

    Documents filed in person are generally not accessible in KCSCRIPT until the next business day. If you must file in-person, please ask the clerk when the documents will be viewable in KCSCRIPT and pick your hearing date accordingly

    Working papers

    Working papers include all documents relevant to the motion before the Court. Working copies may be included in the email to confirm an emergency motion hearing or dropped off in person at the Maleng Regional Justice Center, room 2D, in Kent; or the King County Courthouse, room W-325, in Seattle.

  • Notify the Ex Parte department no later than noon on the day of your scheduled hearing

    To confirm your hearing, send an email to with

    • The date and time of hearing
    • The case number and names of the parties
    • A list of filed documents and their docket numbers in KCSCRIPT
    • Attach a copy of your proposed order

    Once the Ex Parte department confirms your valid hearing date you will receive an email from the department with hearing information and tips for appearing remotely. 

  • Giving notice to the other party

    When asking for an Ex Parte Restraining Order, you must give written or verbal notice to the affected party. This may be to their attorney or, if unrepresented, to the opposing party. The moving party or attorney must certify to the court in writing how they gave notice.

    Such notice is required in all cases, unless you show by sworn declaration that immediate injury, loss, or damage will result if notice is given.

    If you gave written notice, attach a copy of your email or fax or letter to the Motion.

    Email or give the other party/their attorney a set of your motion papers before the hearing. If you are asking the court to waive notice you must be prepared to explain any facts in support of this request at the time of the hearing. 

  • After the hearing

    Review your orders very carefully for any additional steps which may be required. In most cases, the next hearing will be held in a different department which may have additional requirements.

    In most cases, Court staff will email you a copy of the order after the hearing. If you do not receive a copy, send an email request to and staff will send a copy if they have access to the documents. Please be advised that Ex Parte staff do not have access to the documents after they have been transferred to the Clerk’s Office for filing.

    The Court keeps a record of all proceedings. Do not record any court proceedings. You can order copies of the hearing recording and orders from the Court. If you would like to order a copy of the record of the proceeding, learn more on the Court Clerk’s webpage.

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