Show Cause Order

Show Cause Order in the United States

A court order requiring a party to appear and demonstrate why a particular action should not occur. A show cause order is a method of accelerating the beginning of legal action. A plaintiff files a complaint and asks a court by motion to issue a show cause order. The order compels the defendant to appear and answer the complaint. The burden rests with the defendant to show cause why the court should not do what the plaintiff is asking. If the defendant does not carry this burden or fails to appear at all, the court will take the action sought by the plaintiff.

See Also

Answer (Civil Process) Motion (Civil Process).

Analysis and Relevance

A show cause order is designed to bring prompt response. In most cases, response must be made within several days. The show cause order may contain certain conditions or temporary restraints. When a court issues a show cause order, it has been asked to take an action based on a claim by the plaintiff. The defendant must persuade the court of one of two things in order to prevent it from acting on the plaintiffs request. The first is that the fact situation giving rise to the claim is such that a full trial is needed. Such a finding could remove the time urgency and place the case into the regular processing period. Second, a defendant might establish that even if the plaintiffs claim is true, it is not sufficient to justify whatever action the plaintiff is requesting.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Show Cause Order from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

Show Cause Order Definition

Order To Show Cause in this Legal Encyclopedia
Order To Show Cause definition in the Law Dictionary

Show Cause Order in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

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Show Cause Order Show Cause Order in the Family Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
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Show Cause Order Show Cause Order in the Employment and Labor Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
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Show Cause Order Show Cause Order in the Environmental Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.

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