The Legal Meaning of The Term ‘Ex Parte’

Attorney Ben Barry of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP is on the radio with WIZN explaining the legal meaning behind the term ‘ex parte.’ Please give it a listen or read the transcript below.

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Joe: Hey, this is Joe Vega and I’m on the phone now with Ben Barry from Martin Harding & Mazzotti. Hello, Ben.

Ben: Hello, Joe.

Joe: So, normally, when I call you, it’s in regards to some sort of a story, some strange case that’s out there in the world that I wanna question you about, but this one, it’s a little bit different. I was watching TV the other night. I was watching “Law & Order,” and they kept using the term ex parte. And I was like, “What the heck are they talking about?” And so, now, I’m calling you to get that answer. What does that mean?

Ben: Well, it can mean a lot of different things. Generally speaking ex parte…

Joe: You weren’t expecting me to ask you this question, were you? Admit it.

Ben: I was not, but ex parte is a Latin term, and it really, kind of, means relating to one interested party. And so, if you’re watching “Law & Order,” if you’re watching the Special Victims Unit, there was probably what was called an ex parte application for something like an order of protection. If, for example, your girlfriend or ex-girlfriend is bothering you and you think you need an order of protection, you can go in and make an ex parte application to the court and ask the court to issue an order of protection that would require her to stay a certain distance away from you.

And you only have to be one party. You only make your argument to the judge. So, there are certain circumstances where you’re making an application to the court that only listens to one side of the argument while they’re making that usually temporary decision.

Joe: Well, there you go. Thank you very much. That’s for all the folks out there, big “Law & Order” fans, now, you know what they’re talking about if you didn’t already. Thank you, Ben.

Ben: Thank you, Joe.

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