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Find important information on what to do about your case and where to find help on our Alerts and Information Page due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

En nuestra página Información y alertas encontrará información importante sobre qué hacer en cuanto a su caso y dónde encontrar ayuda debido al impacto del brote de COVID-19.

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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

Motion to Enforce Order

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Asking the court to enforce an order

This page explains how to ask the court to enforce an existing order or decree from a Utah court. This is done by filing a Motion to Enforce Order. Instructions on Opposing a Motion to Enforce Order are also available below.

Before May 1, 2021, the process to enforce an order was called "Order to Show Cause."

Other steps could be required if you are seeking to enforce an order or decree from a different state or from ORS (Utah's Office of Recovery Services).

Procedures to ask the court to enforce an order

Follow the steps below to ask the court to enforce an order or decree.

Note: Skip to Special process if your case is in the 3rd Judicial District and your Motion to Enforce is about a denial of parent-time.

Step 1: File documents

File the following with the court (forms are available in the forms section below):

  • Ex Parte Verified Motion to Enforce Domestic Order and for Sanctions
  • Any documents you have to support your request (such as receipts, printouts from ORS or other proof)
  • Request to Submit for Decision
  • Order to Attend Hearing

There are two sets of forms. One set is for domestic relations actions. The other set is for everything else. Domestic relations actions includes:

  • Divorce
  • Temporary separation
  • Separate maintenance
  • Parentage
  • Custody
  • Child support
  • Adoptions
  • Cohabitant abuse protective orders
  • Child protective orders
  • Civil stalking injunctions
  • Grandparent visitation
  • Petitions to modify a divorce, custody, or parentage decree

Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 7B(i)

The court will review your documents. If your papers explain how the other party is not obeying the order or decree the court will schedule a hearing.

Step 2: Have the papers served

After the court sets a hearing date and time, you must have the other party (or parties) served with all of the papers you filed with the court. The papers must be served at least 28 days before the hearing. How you must have them served depends on whether or not they have a lawyer.

  • If the other party is representing themself you must have them served under Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 4. This is how a complaint or petition is served when a new case is started. See our page on Serving Papers for more information.
  • If the other party is represented by a lawyer you can serve the documents through their lawyer under Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 5. See our page on Serving Papers for more information.
    • The other party is represented by a lawyer if the lawyer filed or served documents in the case in the last 120 days and has not filed a notice of withdrawal.

Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 7A(d) and 7B(d).

If ORS or a Guardian ad Litem is involved in the case you must serve them under Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 5.

It is possible that the other party will file a Memorandum Opposing the Motion. If it raises new issues that you did not address in your Motion, and you want to respond to it in writing, you can file a Reply Memorandum Supporting the Motion. This must be served at least 3 days before the hearing for domestic relations cases or, for other types of cases, within 7 days of the other party's filing the Memorandum Opposing the Motion.

Step 3: Attend the hearing

The court might schedule an informal telephone conference to talk about the issues in your motion. If so, you must attend the telephone conference.

If the court schedules a formal hearing, which could be in person, over the telephone, or over the internet, both parties will have the chance to explain their positions. The judge or commissioner will determine whether the party is disobeying the court order in that they:

  • knew about the order,
  • had the ability to follow the order, and
  • willfully failed to comply with the order.

If the court finds a party is able to do what the court has ordered and has not, the court can also impose penalties, including – in extreme circumstances – fines and jail time.

After the hearing, the court might ask you to prepare an order based on what happened at the hearing. You can use the form Order on Motion to Enforce in the forms section below.

Special process if your case is in the 3rd Judicial District and your Motion to Enforce is about a denial of parent-time

There is a special process in some cases. This process applies if:

  • Your case is in the 3rd Judicial District (Salt Lake, West Jordan, or Summit, or Tooele county) AND
  • You are experiencing a DENIAL of parent-time rights that is a part of your Motion to Enforce Order

If your case meets both criteria, instead of Step 1 above, file the following documents (forms are available in the forms section below):

  • Motion to Enforce Order
  • Any documents you have to support your request (such as receipts, printouts from ORS or other proof)
  • Parent-Time Dispute Referral Form

Instead of Step 2 above, the court will contact you to set up a mediation (you do not need to have the other party served yet). Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party (a mediator) tries to help you and the other party to the case reach a resolution outside of court. The court will try to schedule the mediation as soon as possible, usually in about 15 days. There is a fee for the mediation. It is $40 per hour, per person. However, the cost could be reduced based on your income.

At this point, there are a few possibilities:

  • If you resolve your case through mediation, the motion to enforce process will end
  • If the court decides that your case is exempt from mediation (for example, if your case involves domestic violence) you will be able to skip mediation and you will be sent a notice of this
    • You can then file these documents to request a hearing (forms are available in the forms section below):
      • Request to Submit for Decision
      • Order to Attend Hearing
    • The court will sign the Order to Attend Hearing. Then have your Motion to Enforce, Request to Submit for Decision and the Order to Attend hearing served. Follow the same process as explained in "Step 2: Have the papers served" above.
  • If you attend mediation and you cannot resolve the issues in your Motion for Order to Show Cause, you will be sent a notice
    • You can then file these documents to request a hearing (forms are available in the forms section below):
      • Request to Submit for Decision
      • Order to Attend Hearing
    • The court will sign the Order to Attend Hearing. Then have your Motion to Enforce, Request to Submit for Decision and the Order to Attend hearing served. Follow the same process as explained in "Step 2: Have the papers served" above.

For step 3, you will follow the same process as explained in "Step 3: Attend the hearing" above.

Utah Code 30-3-38

Opposing a Motion to Enforce Order

If you oppose a Motion to Enforce Order you can:

  • File a Memorandum Opposing Motion (see "Forms for the responding party" in the forms section below) if you oppose the motion because you believe you have not violated the order. If your argument is that the other party violated the order, file a "counter motion" as explained below
    • If your case is a domestic relations action you must file your Memorandum Opposing Motion at least 14 days before the hearing. Serve a copy on the other party under Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 5. See our page on Serving Papers for more information.
    • If your case is not a domestic relations action you must file your Memorandum Opposing Motion within 14 days of when you were served the Order to Attend Hearing. Serve a copy on the other party under Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 5. See our page on Serving Papers for more information.
  • File your own Motion to Enforce Order (a "counter motion") along with your Memorandum Opposing Order if you think the other party is not complying with the order or decree. See Step 1 above for details. You must serve your (counter) Motion to Enforce Order and your Memorandum Opposing Motion at the same time.
  • Attend the hearing and tell the court your side of the story

Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 7A(e) and 7B(e).

Collecting a judgment

If, after an informal conference or a formal hearing, the court enters a judgment for a specific dollar amount of past due child support, alimony or other debt, the party who asked for enforcement can collect that amount, just as with any other judgment. For more information and forms, see our webpage on How to Collect a Judgment.

Contact the Office of Recovery Services to find out whether they can help collect a judgment.

Forms

Forms to enforce an order or decree in domestic relations cases
(divorce, temporary separation, separate maintenance, parentage, custody, adoptions, protective orders and stalking injunctions and petitions to modify divorce or custody decrees)

Will the motion be decided by a judge or commissioner?

In Judicial Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4, a commissioner, instead of a judge, will decide a Motion to Enforce for most domestic actions. This does not include adoption or child protective order cases. The process is the same, but the required forms are different.

If you are not sure whether your case is assigned to a judge or commissioner, find out. Call the court, or look at the caption of the complaint or petition. If a commissioner's name has been listed in the caption, the motion likely will be decided by a commissioner.

Use OCAP, the Online Court Assistance Program to prepare all the documents needed for a Motion to Enforce Order or an Opposition to a Motion. You can also choose from the forms below.

Forms to enforce an order or decree decided by a judge

Required forms
  • Ex Parte Verified Motion to Enforce Domestic Order and for Sanctions - PDF | Word
  • Request to Submit for Decision - PDF | Word
  • Order to Attend Hearing - PDF | Word
  • Order on Motion to Enforce Domestic Order - PDF | Word
Optional forms
  • Reply Memorandum Supporting Motion - PDF | Word
    (If the other party has disagreed with the motion and presented a new matter in their response, and the moving party wishes to respond)
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order or Judgment)

Forms to enforce an order or decree decided by a commissioner

Required forms
  • Ex Parte Verified Motion to Enforce Domestic Order and for Sanctions - PDF | Word
  • Request to Submit for Decision - PDF | Word
  • Order to Attend Hearing - PDF | Word
  • Order on Motion to Enforce Domestic Order - PDF | Word
Optional forms
  • Reply Memorandum Supporting Motion - PDF | Word
    (If the other party has disagreed with the motion and presented a new matter in their response, and the moving party wishes to respond)
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order or Judgment)
  • Request for Contempt Hearing - PDF | Word
    (Used only if the court commissioner certifies the contempt issues for a hearing before the judge)

Forms to enforce an order or decree if your case is in the 3rd District and your Motion to Enforce is about a denial of parent-time

Required forms
  • Ex Parte Verified Motion to Enforce Domestic Order and for Sanctions - PDF | Word
  • Parent-Time Dispute Referral Form - PDF | Word | PDF (Español) | Word (Español)

The forms below are only required if you do not resolve your issue through mediation

  • Request to Submit for Decision - PDF | Word
  • Order to Attend Hearing - PDF | Word
  • Order on Motion to Enforce Domestic Order - PDF | Word
Optional forms
  • Reply Memorandum Supporting Motion - PDF | Word
    (If the other party has disagreed with the motion and presented a new matter in their response, and the moving party wishes to respond)
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order or Judgment)
  • Request for Contempt Hearing - PDF | Word
    (Used only if the court commissioner certifies the contempt issues for a hearing before the judge

Forms to enforce an order or decree in cases not involving domestic relations

Required forms
  • Ex Parte Verified Motion to Enforce Order and for Sanctions - PDF | Word
  • Request to Submit for Decision - PDF | Word
  • Order to Attend Hearing - PDF | Word
  • Order on Motion to Enforce Order - PDF | Word
Optional forms
  • Reply Memorandum Supporting Motion - PDF | Word
    (If the other party has disagreed with the motion and presented a new matter in their response, and the moving party wishes to respond)
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order or Judgment)

Forms for the responding party - for any type of case

Required forms
  • Memorandum Opposing Motion - PDF | Word
Optional forms
  • Objection to Form of Order or Judgment - PDF | Word
    (Used to object to the proposed order or judgment - for more details, see our page on Motions)

Related Information

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.


Page Last Modified: 8/12/2021
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