show cause order
- A court instruction that directs a party involved in a lawsuit to appear on a designated date and explain why the judge should not issue a specific order or reach a particular conclusion
- The judge issued a show cause order to the company, requiring them to explain why they shouldn't be held liable for the damages.
- In the divorce proceedings, the wife received a show cause order to present reasons for not awarding the requested alimony.
- Following the alleged incident, the man had to appear before the court to respond to a show cause order about the restraining order placed against him.