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How to Move Your Hearing to Another Date

What do you do if you have been served with papers to appear in court, but you are not available?  Many people come to my office and ask that very question.  If you fail to show up, the Judge can render a judgment against you that may not be to your benefit.  If you fail to show up, the Judge could issue a warrant depending on what issue is set in the case.  If you are unavailable, you need to request that the hearing that is set be continued.  A judge will usually grant one continuance in order to give you time to obtain legal representation.

Below is a form that can be used to file for a continuance.  You will need to fill it out and file it at the Office of the Clerk of Court in the parish where your case is pending.  Make sure that you fill in the blanks accurately.

______JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT FOR THE PARISH OF ________________________


NO:___________________________                      DIVISION:______

______________________________ (Petitioner)


______________________________ (Defendant)

Filed:_________________________________ Deputy Clerk:___________________________________ 


NOW INTO COURT, comes _______________ , the Respondent, appearing in “proper person” in the above entitled and numbered cause, who respectfully provides that:


There is presently a Rule for Custody / Child Support / Visitation /other pleading, (circle applicable ones) scheduled for hearings as follows: 

Before Judge ________________________ on the _____day of ______________________(month), 20__, at _______a.m./p.m. 


That the Respondent seeks a continuance of the hearings for the following reasons: (circle applicable one(s)). 

(a) He/she was served with the Rule on _____________(date), and that additional time is needed to prepare and/or seek and retain counsel not necessarily limited to Legal Aid; 

(b) That he /she has a doctors appointment or other important prior engagement that cannot be rescheduled without great disruption (provide proof if available); and/or

(c) Other (please explain) ___________________________________________________________ 

____________________________________________________________________________________ .


That the opposing party / counsel (circle one) has / has not (circle one) been contacted and does / does not (circle one) have objection to the continuance of this matter. Notwithstanding this, it is requested that this hearing be re-set on the next available hearing date(s) in order to allow mover to have meaningful “access to justice.”

The name and telephone number of opposing party or counsel is as follows:

 (Name) ________________________________________________

(Address) _______________________________________________

(City, State, Zip) __________________________________________

(Telephone Number)_______________________________________

WHEREFORE, the undersigned party moves this court to grant a continuance of the hearings presently scheduled above and further that this matter be re-set for the next available hearing date(s).

 (Signature of mover) _____________________________________ 

(Address) _______________________________________________

(Telephone Number) ______________________________________


CONSIDERING the above and foregoing Motion, 

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the hearings presently scheduled above, is/are hereby continued and re-set as follows: 

Before Judge ______________on the _____day of ________________________, 20___ , at _____a.m./p.m. 



THUS RENDERED AND SIGNED on this ____day of _________________(month), 20___ , in __________________Parish, Louisiana.


I hereby certify that a copy of the above and foregoing pleading was served upon _______________________(name of adverse party or opposing counsel), by placing copy of the same in the U.S. mail, postage prepaid and properly addressed this _______day of ____________________(month), 20___ , by me, _____________________(name of mover). 


(signature of mover)

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