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What Is An Emergency Motion (Legal Definition And Example)

What is an Emergency Motion?

How do you legally define it?

How do you file an emergency motion?

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let’s dig into our legal procedural law!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Emergency Motion Basics

An emergency motion (or emergency filing), as the name implies, is a motion filed by a party to a lawsuit on an emergency basis seeking an order from the court to avoid irreparable harm.

Typically, the notice to the other party for an emergency filing will be much shorter than the standard notice period required as per the court rules of procedure.

The objective is for the court to hear a party quickly and render a judgment quickly.

Emergency Motion definition

What is the legal definition of emergency motions?

An emergency motion is a legal application filed by a party seeking immediate relief from the court when there are serious and urgent grounds justifying such an application and there may be a possibility for the moving party to suffer an irreparable prejudice.

Although you must follow the exact requirements of the court rules and procedures, typically, when an emergency demand is filed, the petitioner or applicant must:

  • State the facts and grounds of the urgency 
  • Demonstrate that there are grounds that irreparable harm may be suffered 
  • The application must state “Emergency” in its caption to alert the court of the urgent nature of the request
  • A notice of motion must be sent to all parties 
  • A certificate of service or proof of service must be filed in court

Filing an Emergency Motion

How to file an emergency motion?

The procedure or process for filing an emergency motion must follow the court rules of procedure.

If you are in a bankruptcy court or family court, the procedure may be different.

Let’s look at how to file an emergency motion in the context of a bankruptcy matter in the District of Vermont:

Step 1: The applicant must file a petition stating the nature of the relief sought, the statutory basis along with the facts creating the urgency 

Step 2: The application should state “Emergency Matter” or “Emergency” in the caption so the court clerk can easily detect the urgent nature of the motion 

Step 3: The application must be filed electronically with the Clerk’s Office

Step 4: The applicant must communicate with the Clerk’s Office to advise that an emergency application has been filed

Step 5: The court may call the parties to an emergency hearing 

Step 6: The applicant must notify all parties to the lawsuit of the filing of an emergency motion including the U.S. Trustee

Step 7: The applicant must file proof of service of the motion 

Emergency hearing

What happens after you file an emergency motion?

Emergency hearings may be required when a party files an application to get emergency relief or a ruling from the court.

Typically, emergency hearings are handled on a more expedited basis to avoid long and drawn out hearing and complicated evidence taking procedures.

The objective is for the court to render a quick judgment in dealing with an urgency to avoid irreparable harm to a party.

Once the emergency order is rendered, the parties may take additional steps to have a more thorough hearing to go over the substantive element of the issue when the “emergency” or “urgency” has been dealt with.

Emergency hearings are scheduled by the court quickly and the parties are given a short amount of time to present their position and arguments to the court.

Emergency motions example 

Let’s look at an example of emergency motions to get a better understanding of the concept.

Example 1: US Bankruptcy Court

In the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Vermont, filing an emergency motion means to get:

Any relief sought for which, through circumstances beyond the control of the applicant, there is not enough time to give the notice required by the Bankruptcy Code and Rules.

Example 2: Family Courts

In the context of family disputes involving children, child support and custody matters may require emergency orders to be issued.

As such, an emergency motion for custody or child support order can be filed with the court seeking the custody of a minor child or seeing financial relief for a child.


So what is the legal definition of an Emergency Motion?

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

Emergency Motion:

  • Emergency motions are legal applications filed by a party seeking urgent relief from the court in the case of an emergency
  • An emergency is a situation where a party may suffer irreparable harm or injury that cannot be cured or fixed in the future 
  • The filing of emergency motions must respect the applicable court’s rules of procedure
  • In some cases, an emergency hearing may be required for the parties to provide their arguments orally 
Admission on Motion
Adoption of Motions
Adoption Promotion Act of 2003
Ballard Motion
Borson Motion
Emergency Management
Emergency Management Assistance Compact
Emergency Medical Condition
Emergency Medical Services
Emergency Operations Center
Emergency Placement
Ex parte motion
Editorial Staffhttps://lawyer.zone
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer and passionate about law. I've practiced law in a boutique law firm, worked in a multi-national organization and as in-house counsel. I've been around the block! On this blog, I provide you with golden nuggets of information about lawyers, attorneys, the law and legal theories. Enjoy!


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