As family law attorneys, we have all unfortunately dealt with the scenario of the adversary filing motion after motion to seek the same relief to which they were previously denied. The question becomes, is there a way to stop this harassing motion practice?
The court must carefully review materials submitted to avoid harassing litigation. Kozak v. Kozak, 280 N.J.Super. 272, 276 (Ch. Div. 1994). Discussing motions filed for the purpose of exercising control over an ex-spouse, the Kozak court continued:
The repetitiveness of such motions is noted by the continued reassertion of issues and allegations after their determination and establishment as the law of the case. The filing of such motions, either without an appeal of the original determination or irrespective of the pendency of such an appeal, shows an attitude that the litigant will use (or abuse) the judicial process until some trial judge “gets it right” by deciding in his favor.
For example, a spouse files a pendente lite Motion to request a modification of custody and parenting time. That request is denied by the Motion judge. Then, the spouse files an exact replica of his or her request for a modification of custody and parenting time by way of an Order to Show Cause. Again, that request is denied. This non-emergent Order to Show Cause is exactly what the Kozak court cautioned against: abusing the judicial process until some trial judge “gets it right” by deciding in his or her favor.
It is through the application of the Kozak analysis that we can then seek to stop the repetitive motion practice and seek counsel fees in our client’s favor.
For more information regarding protecting and prevailing against repetitive motion practice contact the Law Office of Lyons & Associates. At the law office of Lyons & Associates, we represent men and women throughout New Jersey who have unresolved family law matters. We place a premium on personalized service and attention. For a private consultation, contact us by e-mail, view our website at www.lyonspc.com, or call our office at 908-575-9777.
Written by: Marissa DelMauro, Esq.