A Note of Issue is a legal document that, when filed with the court, informs the court that the case is ready for the next step. In an uncontested divorce, the Note of Issue informs the court that either through default or settlement the matter can now proceed to divorce through documents submitted to the court without the necessity of a trial before the court. In a contested divorce, the NOI informs the case that the matter is ready for trial such that all discovery is complete. In New York, a contested divorce Note of Issue must be submitted with a Certificate of Readiness. The Certificate of Readiness is a checklist that indicates whether certain items or actions have been completed, waived, or were not required. Among these items/actions to be confirmed are that the issue has been joined (both parties are involved and aware of the proceedings), all pleadings have been served, all requested discovery has been received, and that all documents are in compliance with the rules of the court. In summary, it tells the court that all that is left to do is have a trial of the matter.
A trial is always preceded by a final pre-trial conference where the judge will speak with the attorneys and sometimes the parties to see if there is any possibility of resolving any issues in the case or the matter itself.
If the parties declare that there’s a chance for a settlement, the court may reschedule the conference date allowing the parties to pursue their negotiations. If the matter is not going to settle, the final pre-trial conference will be used to submit stipulations to the court, if any exist, in order to expedite the trial. Stipulations are things that all parties agree on such as each party’s address, the date the parties were married, and other basic factual data that is not disputed. By entering as many stipulations as possible, the time needed for trial (and therefore the costs) will be lessened. The final pre-trial conference may also be used to submit documentary evidence and schedule times for various witnesses to testify. Taking care of these housekeeping matters at the pre-trial conference helps ensure an efficient trial.
Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, the team at Bates Family Law has extensive experience with in reaching the best resolution of your case with minimal hardship. Trials in divorce cases are extremely rare and the vast majority of cases settle, some sooner in the process than others. Whether or not your case goes to trial is, believe it or not, more in your control than your attorney’s control.
Call Bates Family Law today at (585) 433-4661 to schedule your consultation.