Thornton, CO asked in Civil Litigation, Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Colorado

Q: What is considered a sufficient (minimum) amount of time to be given a notice of a family court hearing In hours or day?

So if a opposing party would intentionally show up at my house with the objective to get me arrested for a warrent that was granted off of false information. Then after finally being released from jail 8 days later I would receive a letter via USPS about a hearing to restrict my parenting time scheduled for the following day at 9am. Is that an abuse of process or malicious prosecution? (Reason for warrent would be fully dismissed by judge with a motion to dismiss filed by DA/prosecutor after reviewing my exhibits). 2 cases 2 Different Counties.

1 Lawyer Answer
Rebecca Pescador
Rebecca Pescador
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Westminster, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: This question is impossible to answer without more information. Generally, the notice must be "reasonable". Many factors can go into whether it is "reasonable" or not though. In some circumstances it may be "reasonable" to expect parties to appear at a hearing within a day or two. Usually, those circumstances involve a situation where the parties were present and involved when it was set.

It also depends on what kind of a hearing it is. Some hearings are set on a very short timeline and required to be set on a short timeline by statute. For example, a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time must be heard within 14 days of the day it is filed. Usually, that means the receiving parent is going to have something less than 14 days of notice.

If a party believes the circumstances are such that the time remaining between when they received notice and when they are to appear is not reasonable, that party can ask the court for a continuance, meaning that the hearing be reset for a later date. Some things cannot be continued without at least some kind of short-term agreement by the parties. Some things the court will continue pretty easily for good cause.

When the court is not bound by a statutory requirement, the judge does have discretion to decide whether to permit the continuance or not, so asking is not a guarantee that the asking party will get a continuance. If, for example, a hearing has already been continued previously, it is much less likely that the judge will be willing to continue it again. It is best to be as prepared as possible for the hearing just in case, and to file any request to continue it to a different date as far before the hearing as possible.

This should give you some idea of why this question can't be answered as you have posed it. If you believe you received inadequate notice of a hearing, you should talk to an attorney about what options you might have to ask for a continuance so you can be better prepared, obtain counsel, and so forth. You should definitely consult with an attorney about your specific situation to learn about your options. Filing an improper request can cause new problems, ranging from irritating the judge (never a position you want to start from when you're trying to persuade them to agree with you) to the extreme other end being found to have filed a frivolous pleading and being liable for the other party's attorney fees. Getting specific advice from an attorney can help you to navigate this without the negative consequences.

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