I am going to talk to you about your case detail. Now, for most of you who read this blog, you are going to be surprised that I would waste my time talking about this because you've been through the wringer. You can't even recall a time that you didn't know what a case detail was. However, just so you know, there are actually people out there who don't know.
Recently, I heard from one of these people and she told me that for the last eight months, the opposing side had been dragging her into court and subjecting her to court hearings before the judge. However, during that time not a single one of the motions that the other side had given her and that the judge considered were actually listed on her case detail. Impossible as that appears to be, it is the truth, according to this person.
Keeping that story in mind, for all of you I'd like to emphasize how important it is for you to be right on top of your case detail. Check the case detail at minimum every other day. Always make sure that your personal record of the activity in your case matches the record that is online.
Again, for those of you who may not know, here is the story on your case detail. As soon as you file your complaint for divorce, the clerk at the court house will assign a number to your case. That number will begin with the letters FA indicating that it is a family law case, and then continue on with the year the case was filed, and then add on a bunch of digits that are a bunch of jumble as far as I can tell.
Next, the clerk will open up a case detail page for you online on the judicial website. To get there you would go to the following link: http://www.jud.ct.gov/jud2.htm
That opens up a page which states as follows:
This section of the website provides users with information about Supreme and Appellate, civil, family, criminal, motor vehicle, housing, and small claims cases.
Supreme and Appellate Court Case Look-up
Civil / Family Case Look-up
Criminal / Motor Vehicle Case Look-up
Housing Case Look-up
Small Claims Case Look-up
You would click on Civil/Family Case Look-up, and go from there.
Your case detail provides you with information such as the name of the parties in the case, i.e., you and your soon to be ex-husband, your addresses, the names of your attorneys, your attorneys' addresses and their juris numbers, the name of the Guardian Ad Litem in the case, or the names of any important witnesses and their attorneys.
Every time you file a motion in your case, the clerk will post the name of the motion, the date on which it was filed, and eventually if it happens, the date when the judge granted or denied your motion--just fyi, lots of times motions get filed and nothing happens to them.
If you scroll down to the bottom of your case detail, you can see when the next hearing dates in your case have been scheduled. There are two kinds of hearing dates--hearing dates that are scheduled by the caseflow coordinator that have a fixed date and time--those are the ones that end up listed at the bottom of your case detail. Those dates are usually for your divorce trial, or else for particular motions for which you paid a fee, and for which you obtained a particular date and time and had a marshall deliver the motion to the other party in your case. Such motions, among others, would typically be a Motion to Reopen, a Motion to Modify, and a Motion for Contempt.
Other hearings dates are not readily apparent on your case detail, and are for motions which are placed on what is called the short calendar. If you have a motion placed on the short calendar, you have to come in to court first thing in the morning on the day it is scheduled, sign up for family relations, and then sit around with your attorney all day long, sometimes, until your motion is heard. This can be incredibly expensive for basically having you and your attorney kick around the halls doing nothing until the quick 15 minutes that the court looks at your motion, listens to your arguments and makes a decision. Examples of motions that might be on the short calendar are a motion for transportion, motion for exclusive use of the house, or motion for access and visitation, etc. etc.
To find out the date of a motion that may have been placed on the short calendar, you go to the choices listed on the left hand side of the screen with the case detail and click on "short calendars by court location."
Keep in mind that just because a motion in your case has been listed on the short calendar, this doesn't automatically mean the motion will be heard. In order to confirm that it is being heard on that short calendar day, you or the opposing side have to mark the motion as ready with the court and with the opposing side. So if you are unsure if a motion is going to be heard on a particular day, call the day before and ask the clerk if the motion has been marked as ready.
I'd say call your ex or his or her attorney, but they may lie to you!
If you want information on the process of how a motion is marked as ready, look at the explanatory information located at the top of the short calendar.
I also want to point out to you that if you are too lazy to go to the judicial website to keep track of your case, on the upper right had side of your case detail, you can sign up for email notification which will send information to your email account any time there is activity in your case.
As a final note, you should regularly print out copies of your case detail because court clerks often put misinformation on it and you will need to stay right on top of that and confront them when and if that happens.
At every point during your divorce, you will have to keep your eye out for trickery and wrongdoing; it can happen anytime and anywhere, and you have to stay alert to everything so you don't fall victim to some scheme perpetrated by the opposing attorney in your case or the clerks of the court. This is not a personal matter, but it is what happens all the time, and so it is something to keep track of.