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CIVIL COURT HEARINGS

Civil court hearings include Contempt of Court, modification of court orders, custody, judgments, paternity, order establishment, and visitation. You have the right to appeal a (referee’s, master’s, magistrate’s, commissioner’s) order to the judge if they do not appropriately apply the law to your case. You have the right to appeal the judge’s order to the appeals court if they do not appropriately apply the law to your case.

Parts of a civil court hearing:

    1. Opening statements by both sides: If you are representing yourself, you will make the statement yourself, or if the government IV-D attorney or a private attorney is representing your side, they are responsible to make the statement. It should include why you are in court that day, what the legal issues are, and what you want to accomplish.
    2. Plaintiff presents their case (the plaintiff is the person who filed for the hearing). This is when you present evidence and witnesses.
    3. 3. Defendant presents their case. This is when they present evidence and witnesses.
    4. Each side has a chance to rebut the other’s evidence and witnesses.

Closing Arguments are when both sides sum up their positions and issues. You have right to speak up at this point if there is anything that still needs to be said, even if you are represented by the government or a private attorney.

More about using the courts to enforce child support orders

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