An order to show cause is a court directive that requires one or more of the parties to a case to prove why the court should grant relief to the party, notes New York State Unified Court System. The order justifies why the judge should prevent another party from executing a certain action.
An order to show cause is aimed at explaining or justifying a request to the court, according to the New York State Unified Court System. For example, if a party requests a court not to take a proposed action or find another party to the case in contempt of another court order, the presiding judge may require the requester to appear in court to explain why the court should grant the request.
An order to show cause must be supported by copies of all the documents that support the request and would enable the judge to make an informed decision, according to the New York State Unified Court System. An affidavit is also required to support the show cause order, according to the Utah Courts.
An order to show cause usually carries a direction to restrain the parties in the case from undertaking specific activities pending its hearing and determination by the court, according to the New York State Unified Court System. All parties to the case are required to be in court on the day of hearing the order to show cause.