Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Legal Dictionary Home

Order To Show Cause
An order from a judge that directs a party to come to court and convince the judge why the judge shouldn't grant an action proposed by the other side or, occasionally, by the judge. For example, in a divorce, at the request of one parent a judge might issue an order directing the other parent to appear in court on a particular date and time to show cause why the first parent should not be given sole physical custody of the children.