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Video Transcribed: She got drunk and hit your kid or she let Uncle Feely around your daughter while she wasn’t looking. You need to take action, as this instant. What can you do?
My name is Brian L. Jackson. I am an attorney for father’s rights with Dads.Law, And we’re going to talk about what an emergency in Oklahoma is, specifically the procedure for filing an emergency custody order in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
So emergencies are defined by statute under Title 43, as a situation where there is a threat of immediate, irrevocable harm to a child. In other words, the child is in surroundings that threaten immediate, some serious, and irrevocable harm to that child.
In that situation, the court is empowered to act without notice to protect the child and that may mean changing custody, or it may mean a lesser action, depending on the nature of the circumstances and the allegations.
Now, the procedure of how these are handled is as follows. You’ll talk to your lawyer. Your lawyer is going to draft what’s called an application for emergency custody or an application for an emergency, depending on what relief you’re asking for.
That application is filed with the court and the lawyer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is required by local rule, to notify the opposing party if they’re unrepresented or opposing counsel if the person is represented, that you’re going to be presenting an emergency.
These are the allegations. Here’s a copy of it the emergency and then you’d go to court and immediately present the emergency application along with a proposed order to the judge and the judge’s required… On the case. The judge is required to respond within 72 hours, either granting or denying the emergency.
Now, these are presented in person and typically what happens is you’ll hand the paperwork over to the judge’s minute clerk and the judge’s minute clerk will present it to the judge. The judge is going to make a ruling on the basis of the four corners of the document.
So, it’s important that you have a good, detailed account accounting of what’s going on. Another important rule to be aware of is that whoever the affiant is in the pleading, in other words, whoever’s actually providing the information to support the emergency, has to have firsthand knowledge of the facts that constitute the emergency.
Now, what do I mean by firsthand knowledge? What that means is that you have to have perceived it with one of your five senses. In other words, you saw it, you heard it, you smelled it, you tasted it, you felt it with your hands or something.
Now in the case of a disclosure of a child, it’s whoever the child actually made the disclosure to has to sign the affidavit, otherwise, it’s not valid and it will be rejected on procedural grounds.
Now that also means you better have a witness handy because the next thing that happens is if the emergency is granted, the court will set a show cause hearing that can’t be more than 10 days out from the date of the emergency order was granted and that the show cause hearing, it’s your burden to show cause, hence the name, why that emergency should continue.
So you better have something to back it up with. The allegations by themselves may satisfy the immediate emergency, but it’s not going to get you past the show cause hearing, so you better have evidence to back it up.
Now, there are a couple of reasons why I show cause hearing may be continued without a hearing. If there is a DHS report or if there’s been a DHS report and DHS is still investigating, the court will continue the hearing. If you’re dealing with an ongoing situation, like for example, somebody’s been hospitalized for a mental issue or for drug use, the court will continue the hearing.
And obviously, the court will continue the hearing if it’s by request and there may be circumstances where one party or the other wants to pass it. Oftentimes, respondents will pass if there’s an accompanying criminal case along with the emergency because you don’t want to be trying to defend yourself on an emergency when anything you say on the record, which is what that hearing is going to be, might be used later against you in criminal court.
So, there are circumstances where it might get continued but understand that as a general rule, you file one of these things, you need to be ready to go at the hearing which is going to come up really fast.
These are not designed by the way as a means to gain permanent custody. When you go to show cause hearings, the scope of the hearing is going to be limited to the grounds for the emergency. So you don’t get to go into every last stupid ass thing that your ex did, or you did, that might potentially go to best interests but is not directly involved with establishing an emergency. What the court’s going to be interested in is, what specific evidence do you have to show that there was an emergency?
That’s what the court’s interested in. Anything else is going to be excluded as irrelevant. It may be relevant to a motion to modify later or temporary orders hearing or some other hearing, but it’s not relevant to the emergency.
So, the accompanying thing to know about that is if you filing an emergency after there’s already an order in place, you need to make sure that it’s filed along with a motion to modify of some kind, so that when the emergency is over if they’re still our best interest issues, they can be addressed. And guys, if you were dealing with an emergency and you need help, go to dads.law.