Instant Court Case Lookup

The following is for information purposes only

Court Orders

What Is a Court Order?

After a person presents their case at a hearing or trial, the presiding judge or magistrate will issue a court order. These outline the judge's decision and ensure all parties are aware of it.

Judges have to make and issue court orders as part of their judicial conduct role. The parties are legally required to adhere to the court order no matter which judicial branch grants it.

This can be the supreme court, the court of appeals, the state court, the superior court, circuit court, probate court, or the district court.

A court order is a formal document that records the decision of a judge or magistrate. These can include:

  • An order made after a hearing before a judicial officer
  • Those made after parties of a particular case apply for consent orders

All court decrees are orders, but the reverse isn't true. Also, a court can pass an order at any stage of a suit requiring a person to do or not do something. For example, during the admissibility of the claim, during hearings, or at the evidence stage.

However, most judges make court orders at the end of a trial. When a judge does this, every person bound by it must follow it. The time it takes to get a final court decree usually depends on the case.

It also relies on the number of assessments the case requires and the evidence available to help the judge make his final decision.

What Are the Different Types of Court Orders?

In the United States, the various types include:

  • The Interim order - An interim court order is temporary - made by judges or administrative agencies (including the chief justice). A judge puts it into effect pending a hearing, trial, or final judgment.

    Judges usually make these decrees during an interim hearing when an urgent issue needs immediate action while the court procedure goes on.

    Temporary court orders stay in effect until the judge makes the final decision or a party to a case registers an agreement with the court.

  • A final order - This is an order by a court that terminates trial court proceedings, or in other words, ends the litigation and any other court operations.

    It is also one that has not stayed, appealed, reviewed, amended, recalled, or reversed. The importance of a final order is that it allows for an appeal of the court's decision in an appellate court.

  • The restraining order is an order that a judge in family court issues to protect a person, object, business, establishment, or entity. It prohibits an individual from performing a particular action like approaching or contacting someone.

    Judges will issue a restraining order in situations involving domestic violence, child abuse, assault, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault.

  • The stay away order is a judge's order to protect someone from harm. It's also called a criminal protective order.

    Usually, a prosecutor petitions the court for a CPO to protect the victim of a crime from further contact with the accused. The judge that issues this will always be a criminal court judge. This type of order differs from a restraining order.

  • Gag order - Just as the name suggests, this is one of the directives a judge makes to prevent a person or entity from disclosing the facts of a particular case to an unauthorized party.

    In a criminal prosecution or a lawsuit, a gag order ensures everyone adheres to court rules and prohibits the attorneys, parties, or witnesses from disclosing important information and comments about the case to the public.

    It prohibits trial participants from discussing trial-related material outside the courtroom.

  • Cease and desist order - This directs an individual, business, or entity to stop engaging in an activity that the court deems to be illegal. It also requires the individual, trade, or entity not to restart the said activity at any time in the future.

    For example, a court can issue a cease and desist order in a case where a trademark owner wants to protect their trademark from use by another person or entity.

  • Order to show cause - is where a judge demands a party or parties to account for or prove why a court should or shouldn't grant a motion.

    It is an order that directs a party or parties to appear in court and explain why they took or failed to take action and why a court should or shouldn't take a proposed action.

  • Order of examination - allows courts to enforce a monetary judgment in claims. This order compels a physical inspection of a person to determine the health or extent of their injuries. A judge examines a party to get information to enforce a monetary judgment.

  • Emergency protective order - An emergency protective order is an order that's sought when someone fears an immediate danger to themselves or their children.

    This order provides protection long enough for the person to apply for a restraining order. The judge typically grants this order in domestic violence cases under family law.

  • An eviction order is a legally enforceable order by a court to remove a tenant from a property.

  • Supreme court order - These can involve summary judgments. For instance, the order can deny a petition for certiorari without comment. They also allow attorneys of the parties to a case to make oral arguments before the judge.

  • A consent order is a judge-approved order that confirms an agreement between parties to resolve a dispute without admission of guilt or liability. It is legally binding and enforceable.

  • Remand order - This is where a judge sends an accused person back into police custody. In such a case, the accused person doesn't get bail and remains in custody until the date mentioned in the order.

  • Rejection order - The court rejects a case because it doesn't meet the standards required to uphold it. In other words, it is an order of dismissal.

  • Administrative orders are formal legal debt solutions made by a court's chief judge, and creditors must abide by them.

Where Are Court Order Records Found?

Finding court records isn't as hard as it once was. One can locate court order records:

  • From online sources - Today, e-filing has become common as courts store their records electronically. This means one can get these online. However, not all documents are online.

    The court can seal some records or fail to upload others online. However, one can also use the Public Access to Court Records service (or PACER) to get a hold of the records.

  • From the Courthouse - If the records are not online, someone must physically go to the court clerk's office where the case was filed or heard

    The courthouse clerk usually has access to such court services and can assist anyone looking for the records to get them, provided the forms are not sealed or confidential. One can ask for the judge's docket to get a list of all proceedings and filings.