order to show cause

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An order to show cause (O.S.C.), is a court order or the demand of a judge requiring a party to justify or explain why the court should or should not grant a motion or a relief. For example, if a party requests a restraining order from a judge, the judge may need more information.

In procedural law, an “order to show cause” can be understood as providing notice of a legal proceeding to a relevant party, as cited in the case of State v. Miscellaneous Fireworks 34 A.3d 992 (2011). 

[Last updated in April of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]