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.
Notice of Event Due Dates
This page explains what the Notice of Event Due Dates means.
What is a Notice of Event Due Dates?
A Notice of Event Due Dates lists the deadlines that apply in a newly filed case (or in an open case when a party requests a major change to a court order - for example, filing a Petition to Modify).
Why did I receive it?
The court creates the Notice of Event Due Dates automatically when a party files a response (like an answer) to the complaint or petition. The deadlines in the Notice come from Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 26. The court sends the Notice of Event Due Dates to you and the other parties to the case at the address or email the court has on file.
If you need to update your contact information, or if you want to receive court communications quickly and have an email address, you can update your contact information or add your email address with the court. See our page on Notifying the Court of Address, Contact Information, or Name Changes for more information.
It says "Moving party" and "Responding party" - which one am I?
For new cases: If you are the one who filed a new case, you are the plaintiff (or the petitioner in a domestic case), and you will follow the deadlines in the Notice for "moving party." If you are the other party in a new case, you are the defendant (or the respondent in a domestic case) and you follow the deadlines in the Notice for "responding party."
For ongoing cases: The person who filed a paper, such as a Petition to Modify, asking for a change in the final court order follows the deadlines for "moving party" and the person who filed an answer saying they don't agree, follows the deadline in the papers for "responding party."
What do the dates refer to?
"Initial Disclosures" refers to information you and the other parties to the case are required to exchange at the beginning of a case (or when there is a request for a major change to final court order). Initial Disclosures include the information, documents, and names of witnesses that support a party's claims or defenses.
You must give the other parties your disclosures even if they don't ask for them. You must also give the other parties your disclosures even if they don't give you theirs. For more information, see our page on Initial Disclosures.
Fact discovery completed
"Fact discovery" lets you or the other parties to the case gather more information than is required in the Initial Disclosures. You or the other parties in your case can request this information from one another or from a third party who is not involved in the case. Fact discovery is not always needed. Often the information gathered through the Initial Disclosures is enough.
"Completed" means the discovery requests have been sent and responses have been received. This means a discovery request must be made early enough so that the response is due before the deadline. Visit our page on Discovery to read about the different kinds of discovery available and the deadlines involved.
Expert discovery completed
An expert witness is a witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education. An expert is allowed to testify in the form of an opinion if the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the judge or jury understand the evidence or determine a disputed fact in a case. Utah Rule of Evidence 702. The Notice of Event Due Dates deadline means all disclosures of experts required under Rule 26 have been completed, as well as all discovery regarding experts through reports and depositions, has been completed.
"Completed" means the discovery requests have been sent and responses have been received. This means discovery requests must be made early enough so that the response is due before the deadline. Our page on Discovery has details on disclosure and discovery of experts.
ADR completed (unless exempt)
"ADR" means Alternative Dispute Resolution. In ADR, you and the other parties to the case try to settle your case through mediation, arbitration, or other meetings before trial. ADR can give you more time to present your positions and points of view informally, without the rules that apply in a trial. ADR lets you and the other parties talk about possible outcomes with a professional trained in this process. The professional is neutral, meaning they are not on anyone's side. If the parties agree, they sign a settlement agreement. They can present this agreement to the judge to become a court order or decree.
Most cases are resolved through ADR. This deadline is the date by which the parties are expected to have attended at least one session of ADR, or have had this requirement excused. See our Alternative Dispute Resolution page for more information about how this process works. If you want to ask to be excused from meditation, you can find forms and guidance on our Motion to Excuse Mediation page.
Certificate of Readiness for Trial due
A Certificate of Readiness for Trial tells the court that:
- the parties have completed the above requirements
- there are no motions pending before the court
- that if the parties are divorcing or separating parents of minor children, both parties have taken the required divorce education classes, AND
- that the parties are ready to schedule a trial date.
What if the other party doesn't meet the deadlines?
For Initial Disclosures
See our Discovery Motions section of our Disclosure and Discovery page for information about what to do if the other party fails to disclose.
For Fact and Expert Discovery
If you serve discovery you need to make sure you do it so that the deadline for the other party falls before the deadline for completion of fact or expert discovery. If the other party does not respond within the deadline, you can ask the court for help with getting the information you need. See our Discovery Motions section of our Disclosure and Discovery page for information about what to do.
If the other party serves discovery requests upon you after the deadline, or if your responses would be due after the deadline, you can object to them.
For ADR Completed
Either party can set up mediation or other form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. So if the other party has not done it, you can do it. Some cases are exempt from ADR and in some cases you can ask the court to waive this requirement. See our Motion to Excuse Mediation page for more information.
For Certificate of Readiness for Trial
Either party can file this. If the other party has not filed it, and the case is ready for trial, you can file it and provide a copy to the other party.
What if I need more time?
You can ask the other side to give you more time. If they agree, be sure to get their agreement in writing, like an email. You can also file a motion with the court asking for more time from the judge. Our page on Motions has more information on how to file a motion.
Why will it take so long to finish my case?
A Certificate of Readiness for Trial is the LONGEST the court wants parties to complete these steps. You can help move your case along by completing your Initial Disclosures on time, making sure the other party provides their Initial Disclosures on time, beginning any fact discovery early, and setting up a mediation/ADR for as soon as possible. Mediation is usually scheduled after the Initial Disclosures are exchanged and any other information needed for a good faith attempt to reach a settlement are gathered.
You file a Certificate of Readiness for trial when there are no motions pending, and the parties have attempted to resolve the case via a mediation/ADR or you have been excused from mediation.
What if I can't wait this long for a court order?
In many family law cases you can file a Motion for a Temporary Order. Our page on How to Get a Temporary Order can help you with this process.
- Disclosure and Discovery
- Getting ready for trial
- Motion to Excuse Mediation
- Summary of Civil Procedures
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