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How Does My Motion Get Heard by a Judge?

June 29, 2018

This Week’s Blog by Christopher J. DeMattie

  • The short calendar is a date when motions are scheduled to be heard.
  • Non-emergency motions get filed with the clerk and then scheduled on the short calendar.
  • Once a motion is scheduled on the short calendar, you have to mark it ready in order to proceed.

What Types of Motions Get Scheduled on the Short Calendar?

Any non-emergency motion gets scheduled for at least the first time on the short calendar.  Emergency, or ex-parte motions, are temporarily decided on the papers without a hearing, and then get scheduled for a hearing within fourteen days of the temporary orders being entered.  Examples of non-emergency motions are as follows: alimony, child support, discovery, modification, contempt, compel, custody, and parenting time.  At the Stamford Courthouse, the short calendar occurs on Mondays and at the Bridgeport Courthouse, the short calendar occurs on Thursdays.  The exception is if a court holiday falls on the short calendar date. Other courts throughout the state have different short calendar dates.

What is a Ready Marking?

After a motion is filed with the clerk, or e-filed in cases filed after October 2015, the motion gets published to the short calendar.  Currently, at the Stamford Courthouse it typically takes approximately four weeks from a time a motion is filed until the short calendar date is assigned.  The typical time at the Bridgeport Courthouse is approximately two weeks.  Just because a motion is published on the short calendar, it is not automatically heard on the short calendar date.  To proceed on the short calendar date, the motion must be marked ready.  To mark a motion ready, you must call the clerk or do so electronically.  Once a motion is marked ready, the other party must be notified.  The marking period is typically the week before the short calendar date.  If the motion is not marked ready, then it cannot be heard at the short calendar.  To have a motion heard that is not marked ready, it must be reclaimed and it is then published to a subsequent short calendar and then marked ready.  Typically, a motion cannot be reclaimed more than three months after it was filed.

What Happens at the Short Calendar?

On the short calendar date the motions are assigned to a specific judge and all parties must report to that Judge’s courtroom.  There, the Judge will typically proceed with a calendar call in which every case is briefly addressed to determine what business, if any, will be addressed that day.  For example the attorneys could report any one of the following to the Judge: the motions will be continued by agreement, the motions will be marked off, an agreement was reached, the parties should proceed to family relations for mediation, or short legal argument is required.  Prior to having an evidentiary hearing, the parties and counsel must first try to resolve factual issue(s) at family relations.  If family relations is unsuccessful, then the motion is eligible for a hearing.  If a motion will take less than hour and if the court has time, it will be heard that day.  If the motion will take longer than an hour, the matter will typically not be heard that date and will be scheduled for a date certain in the future, which unfortunately is often many months in the future.

Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie LLC, with offices in Westport and Greenwich, CT, concentrates specifically in the areas of family law, matrimonial law, and divorce. We are typically present at each short calendar and our vast experience with the short calendar procedures enables us to efficiently navigate our clients through the process in order to get their motion(s) heard as quickly as possible under the circumstances.


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