The Governor of the State of California issued a State of Emergency on March 4, 2020. (View PDF) In addition to the Governor’s declaration of a State of Emergency, the California Judicial Council issued emergency rules related to the operation of the courts during the Covid-19 pandemic. (View PDF) The Orange County Superior Court has also issued emergency rules which affect family court’s in Orange County. (View PDF)
How Are Family Law Matters Affected In Orange County Superior Courts?
The Governor’s Orders are referred to by both the Judicial Council and the Orange County Superior Courts as set forth above. Under the Judicial Council’s emergency rule 13 a party may apply for a modification of support, a Request for Order, under the emergency rules,
Notwithstanding any other law, including Family Code sections 3591, 3603, 3653, and 4333, this rule applies to all requests to modify or terminate child, spousal, partner, or family support. For the purpose of this rule, “request” refers to Request for Order (form FL-300), Notice of Motion (Governmental) (form FL-680), or other moving papers requesting a modification of support.
Rule 13 (b) allows a party to initiate the modification of support procedure by serving a copy upon the opposing party,
Except as provided in Family Code section 3653(b), an order modifying or 15 terminating a support order may be made effective as of the date the request and 16 supporting papers are mailed or otherwise served on the other party, or other 17 party’s attorney when permitted. Nothing in this rule restricts the court’s discretion 18 to order a later effective date.
A party utilizing the procedure must also comply with Rule 13(c),
If the request and supporting papers that were served have not yet been filed with the court, the moving party must also serve a copy of the request and supporting papers after they have been filed with the court on the other party, or other party’s attorney when permitted. If the moving party is the local child support agency and the unfiled request already has a valid court date and time listed, then subsequent service of the request is not required.
Rule 13(e) indicates that these rules will remain in effect until 90 days after the Governor lifts the State of Emergency,
This rule will remain in effect until 90 days after the Governor declares that the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted, or until amended or repealed by the Judicial Council.
The Orange County Superior Court has issued mandatory telephonic appearance rules for most Family Law Matters as set forth below,
- Family law proceedings, with limited exceptions as set forth hereinbelow, shall be conducted via remote hearing, using either the Teams or Webex applications; the use of which application to be determined at the discretion of each family law judicial officer;
- Initially, calendar preference will be given to matters that can be resolved remotely in an expedited As this hearing backlog decreases, efforts will be made to address the long-cause matters also pending;
- An in-court proceeding can be scheduled on a showing of good cause as to why a remote hearing cannot occur, within the discretion of the assigned judicial officer;
- Dual pro per domestic violence cases (no attorneys) assigned to the dedicated family law domestic violence courts may be scheduled for in-court proceedings with Judge Henson or Commissioner Watson;
- DCSS child support matters shall be heard remotely pursuant to separate remote hearings protocols as established by federal and state statute and the Department of Child Support Services, in conjunction with Judicial Council Emergency Rule No. 3;
- Specific protocols for the submission of, and presentation of evidence can be found online.
- Any individual seeking access to a public hearing shall contact the courtroom where the hearing is set no less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled The clerk shall then provide information to enable remote access to the hearing. All those who apply for public access to a Family Law hearing should be advised that no part of any Family Law proceeding may be recorded without permission of the Court, and a violation of this order shall subject the individual(s) to potential civil and criminal penalties. (Code Civ. Proc., § 177.5; Pen. Code, § 632 et seq.) Be advised that certain Family Law hearings are not public by statute;
- This Administrative Order is to be read in conjunction with Administrative Order 20/08, and is to be considered an exception to said Administrative Order suspending family law proceedings for those cases selected by each judicial officer to be heard remotely under this order. Additionally, those matters set for status conference after June 1, 2020 shall be heard remotely unless otherwise ordered;
- This rule will sunset in 60 days unless renewed by a subsequent administrative
If you have any questions about a family law matter in Orange County you should contact the Law Office of Sam Walker for a free 15-Minute telephonic consultation.