Ex parte is Latin for “for one party” and is used in references to motions, hearings, orders, or cases where one party acts or applies to act in the absence of another. This is an exception to the general legal principle that both parties must be present for legally mandated appointments or court dates.
In terms of legal citation (according to the Australian Guide to Legal Citation 3), there are two ways in which ex parte is used. In line with the definition of ex parte, ‘Ex parte Sewell’ indicates that Sewell brought the action. ‘Ex parte Sewell; Re Kettle’ is used where Sewell brings an action concerning the rights of a third party under Kettle’s will. However, case names that read ‘R v Sewell; Ex parte Kettle’ are usually used in matters concerning prerogative writs or contempt proceedings, and do not indicate the absence of a party.