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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  Lawyer
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Fairfax county circuit court Civil Virginia Can a rule to

Customer Question

Fairfax county circuit court
Can a rule to show cause be docketed prior to a person being served?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. Anything that is filed is typically docketed immediately, before the other party is served. Can you tell me more about your situation? Are they refusing to accept the Rule to Show Cause for filing without a Proof of Service?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
A Rule to show cause was docketed at calendar control without me being present or having even see the motion. I was served days later with the motion. I had no input whatsoever in setting the hearing date or length.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
That's actually pretty common. The motion is docketed and a hearing date requested, and then the motion is put in the mail and served on the other party. If you're not able to make it to the hearing, you can file a Motion to Continue, asking for another date.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Will the motion for a continuance be ruled on before the hearing or at the hearing?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
It's supposed to be heard before the hearing, because the purpose of the motion is so you don't have to appear on the hearing date. If the judge hasn't ruled on a Motion to Continue before the hearing date, the hearing will continue as planned, and you have to be there. If the hearing is coming up in the next couple of weeks and it's physically impossible for you to be there (impossible in the legal sense means that you'll be deployed overseas with the military, out of town due to a pre-planned and paid for vacation in the hospital having a major surgery or in jail), you may want to hire a local attorney to attend that court date on your behalf, in case the motion is denied.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
If the key witness cannot be at the hearing due to health reason, is the court likely to grant a continuance?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
That's a good reason for requesting a continuance, although the judge can choose to also allow the witness to appear by phone (if possible).
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
There was just a deposition. Testimony from the depo has caused me to need more time to address this information . I need to get the transcript and review it and locate counter witnesses. Is this a reason for a continuance ? Do I ask for a continuance or a new trial date ? What is the difference?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
A continuance means the current trial date is pushed back. A new trial date is usually what you ask for when there isn't a date already scheduled. But yes, you can ask for a continuance if you've gotten new information and you need time to prepare. That's a valid reason. Judges will usually give one or two continuances without much of an issue. They start to get more frugal with changing the date when a case has been continued multiple times or dragging on for a long time. Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get paid for all the time I have spent answering questions for you this month. There is no charge for related follow-up questions asked after rating.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What is the typical amount of time that a trial can be moved back ? In other words, when I request the continuance , do I say how much time I need? One month or two ?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
"Typical" really depends on why you're asking for it. It takes time for the transcript to be created, so the starting point, if you don't already have it, is to call the transcriptionist and ask. That way, you can say in the motion, "The transcript will not be available until DATE. It will take X days to review and prepare...." Usually, a week or ten days is enough to read through it once you have it, but you can ask for a month if the transcript is likely to help lead you to other witnesses/evidence. You probably wouldn't get two months AFTER the transcript is delivered to you, but two months including the time to type it up might not be unreasonable.

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