California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1204, is critically important to being successful on an ex parte application since you need to get in front of a judge (or at least your paperwork does) before the Court can issue rulings. Given the California budgetary crisis, court clerks in various jursidictions like Los Angeles and Orange County have been instructed to be sure these emergency requests pass procedural muster before they are handed off to a judge. While it is true that many courts accept improperly filed documents, judges also are pressured to dispose of cases that cannot be adjudicated because of some procedural flaw quickly - so they can move through their remaining calendars.
CALIFORNIA RULES OF COURT
Ex Parte Applications
CRC Rule 3.1204 Contents of notice and declaration regarding notice
(a) Contents of notice
When notice of an ex parte application is given, the person giving notice must:
(1) State with specificity the nature of the relief to be requested and the date, time, and place for the presentation of the application; and
(2) Attempt to determine whether the opposing party will appear to oppose the application.
(b) Declaration regarding notice
An ex parte application must be accompanied by a declaration regarding notice stating:
(1) The notice given, including the date, time, manner, and name of the party informed, the relief sought, any response, and whether opposition is expected and that, within the applicable time under rule 3.1203, the applicant informed the opposing party where and when the application would be made;
(2) That the applicant in good faith attempted to inform the opposing party but was unable to do so, specifying the efforts made to inform the opposing party; or
(3) That, for reasons specified, the applicant should not be required to inform the opposing party.
(c) Explanation for shorter notice
If notice was provided later than 10:00 a.m. the court day before the ex parte appearance, the declaration regarding notice must explain:
(1) The exceptional circumstances that justify the shorter notice; or
(2) In unlawful detainer proceedings, why the notice given is reasonable.