In Honor of the Cubs World Series Win………

..…I just couldn’t pass up the chance to write about a divorcing couple that went through a heated battle over World Series tickets. Apparently this battle became was so “serious” that a suburban wife felt it appropriate to file an emergency petition in a Chicago court for orders that the husband hand over the tickets which were obtained prior to filing for divorce. Even more surprising is the fact that the Chicago judge made an emergency ruling on this issue. Read on to find out what the ruling was.

The couple was arguing over who would be able to take their 12-year-old son to game 4 of the World Series. The husband was lucky enough to land these hard-to-find tickets because of a season ticket package he purchased with friends before the parties separated. The Husband’s attorney argued that this was not an “emergency” that the Court should intervene in. In other words, just because the Cubs hadn’t been to a World Series in 71 years, that does not reach a level of emergency.

Despite that argument, the Chicago judge heard the arguments of both parties and made a decision. The judge ruled that the husband could keep the tickets and take the parties’ son to the game, but that the husband had to buy the wife comparable tickets to the game….for around $3,000. Wow!

In California, the courts also have jurisdiction to make emergency orders, also called “ex parte” orders. The statutes and rules govern the process of how to apply for an ex parte order, and give guidelines as to what constitutes an “emergency” to make such orders. Per the California Rules of Court, the purpose of ex parte orders may be to:

“1) Make orders to help prevent an immediate danger or irreparable harm to a party or to the children involved in the matter;

2) Make orders to help prevent immediate loss or damage to property subject to disposition in the case; or

3) Make orders about procedural matters (…)” (CRC 5.151)

Often times, a court will refuse to make a ruling because the judge does not agree that the relief requested is actually an emergency. If emergency relief is denied on such a basis, that relief may be more properly requested in a regular Request for Order, and heard by the court in due course.

However, there are many situations where ex parte relief is extremely necessary, especially where custody is at issue and a child might be at harm for some reason. It’s a bit harder to believe that a baseball ticket would be of such importance that it would justify the court taking time to hear argument and make an emergency order. It’s quite a stretch, but even the California courts have jurisdiction to make orders preventing loss of property. Maybe the judge in Chicago took this matter more seriously just because it was Chicago and the judge was likely a Cubs fan!

Please contact us if you are considering divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding mediation and the mediation privilege. Nancy J. Bickford is the only Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) in San Diego County who is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.

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