Emergency! The 411 on 911 in Court

I get the call, at least, weekly.  It is an EMERGENCY!  I have to get into Court yesterday to solve some critical issue.  However, once I start asking questions the emergency is more like an inconvenience.

For Court purposes, think of an emergency as being a true emergency; danger of life or limb, or the immediate threat of imminent and irreparable harm.

The Court judges emergencies on a case by case basis to make sure they have merit.  Some examples  of emergencies include;

  • when the custodial parent refuses life saving medical treatment, against medical advice
  • when one parent absconds with a child, it’s not “their” time and refuses all contact
  • when a parent is using illegal drugs in the presence of the child and/or exposing the child to that lifestyle
  • is abusing the child
  • is neglecting the child

Some examples of non-emergencies, at least for Court purposes;

  • is 15 minutes late for a pick-up or a drop-off, even multiple times
  • stops paying the house mortgage
  • forgot to give the recommended dose of antibiotics
  • returns the child in the same clothes that he was dropped off in
  • returns the child with a scratch or bruise caused by kids being kids

Emergencies are quite often judgment calls and the Judges treat these seriously when they are serious and are nonplussed when a lawyer files an Emergency Petition over a non-urgent circumstance.  The Judges are also somewhat on guard against persons using ERs for tactical advantage and this can and does backfire on the petitioner if it is not a true emergency.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and is careful on the draw about declaring emergencies.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer 

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@BowTieLawyer.ms


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