November 18, 2019

Family Law Tentative Ruling Announcements

Please note that the family court issues tentative ruling announcements on the court day prior to the scheduled hearing for specific types of motions. Tentative rulings are only provided on the Internet and posted in the clerk’s office lobby. Internet postings occur at 1:30pm daily at

Parties are not required to give notice of intent to appear to preserve the right to a hearing. The tentative ruling will not become final until the hearing. (Stan. Cnty. Local Rules, rule 7.05.1) However, as a courtesy to the Court, and other parties or counsel with matters on calendar, notice of intended appearance or non-appearance is encouraged and may be sent by e-mail to the following address: between the hours of 1:30 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail from the clerk, you may call to speak directly with a Calendar Clerk at 209-530-3107.

Any party filing pleadings or documents on a tentative ruling matter within five (5) days of the hearing should provide a courtesy copy to the Courtroom Clerk and the Court’s Family Law Research Attorney by placing a copy in the drop box slot on the door of Room 223, Second Floor of the main Courthouse. Failure to do so may prevent the Court from consideration of such, may result in a continuance, and/or may be considered in the award of conduct-based fees and costs. (Stan. Cnty. Local Rules, rule 7.05.1(B).)

All parties and counsel are required to meet and confer in a good faith effort to resolve the dispute on any request, motion or hearing, with the exception of those involving domestic violence, and to exchange any documents upon which reliance will be made at the hearing. (Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 5.98; Stan. Cnty. Local Rules, rule 7.05.1(C).) Failure to do so may result in a continuance and may be considered in the award of conduct-based fees and costs, or both. If sufficient information regarding an adequate pre-hearing meet and confer effort is not provided in the moving and opposing papers, in the Court’s discretion, the matter may be placed at the end of the calendar and not called until the parties or counsel advise the Court that they have complied with their obligations and/or resolved the matter.

Date: November 18, 2019                             




The following are the tentative ruling cases calendared before Judge Alan Cassidy in Department #11:




Petitioner’s Request for Order re Child Custody, etc.—HEARING REQUIRED.


All requests are ineligible with the exception of the residence sale order request.  As to that, Petitioner’s counsel offers no authority but Petitioner’s declaration alleges inability to pay the monthly mortgage and risk of loss. 


Consequently, the Court deems Petitioner’s request as being made pursuant to Family Code section 2108, which provides that, on a party's motion and a showing of good cause, the Court may order the liquidation of community or quasi-community assets in order to avoid unreasonable market or investment risks, given the relative nature, scope, and extent of the community estate. As Petitioner offered no evidence in support of her allegations, she must do so at the hearing.  (Fam. Code § 217.)


The parties shall meet and confer on the issue of residence sale—considering that Respondent alleges Petitioner is incompetent to handle financial matters and yet complains of insufficient resources to handle support obligations—and shall exchange any non-impeachment evidence upon which either will rely for proof of any material issue.  (Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 5.98.)



The following are the tentative ruling cases calendared before Judge Valli K. Israels in Department #13:


Other Parent’s Request for Order re Sanctions—HEARING REQUIRED.

Pursuant to the Court’s Amended Minute Order of September 26, 2019, the parties were ordered to meet and confer regarding the request for attorney’s fees by Other Parent.  There is no evidence provided to the Court that this has been done.  While service has been demonstrated as to Defendant, there is no evidence of notice or service as to Plaintiff.  To the extent that Other Parent seeks attorney’s fees as a sanction pursuant to Family Code section 271, proof of the sanctioned party’s ability to pay and whether the amount constitutes an “unreasonable burden” on the sanctioned party is mandatory.  As such, the Plaintiff’s interest in continued and timely support payments by Respondent is implicated and Plaintiff should therefore be afforded due process as to whether it has any interest or position on the matter.  When the parties, including Plaintiff’s counsel, have met and conferred, they may advise the Court and the matter will then be called; otherwise, Other Parent must seek a continuance of the matter to comply with the Court’s Amended Minute Order.


Petitioner’s Request for Order re Property Control—DENIED, without prejudice.

Petitioner has failed to file proof of service as required.  (Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 5.94(b).)  Petitioner must either seek a continuance or file a new motion, unless Respondent’s counsel appears and waives service.






The following are the tentative ruling cases calendared before Judge Jack M. Jacobson in Department #14:



The following are the tentative ruling cases calendared before Judge Kellee Westbrook in Department #25:


Respondent’s Request for Order re Vocational Examiner—GRANTED.

Petitioner’s opposition is not to the examination itself, but rather to its scope.  Temporary spousal support is in place and trial on the issue of permanent spousal support has been set, with jurisdiction reserved over retroactivity. 


Given the “slight” evidentiary showing required to establish good cause for the examination, the Court finds that it would be tantamount to granting a dispositive motion in limine in Petitioner’s favor, precluding any expert opinion testimony on the issue of alternative employment or retraining, to arbitrarily limit the scope of examination to Petitioner’s current occupation, an occupation as to which Petitioner claims partial medical disability. (Fam. Code § 4331(a) [examination shall include an assessment of the party's ability to obtain employment based upon the party's age, health, education, marketable skills, employment history, and the current availability of employment opportunities]; Hogoboom & King, Cal. Prac. Guide Family L. (TRG 2019) Ch. 6-B, § 6:846 [“[A]ny showing that the spouse seeking support or the spouse contesting a support award (as the case may be) is capable of working but is unemployed or underemployed will suffice, emphasis added; Marriage of Stupp & Schilders (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 907, 913 [citing text].)  Furthermore, the statute expressly provides that the Court has authority to order the supporting party to pay the reasonably necessary expenses and costs of the vocational counseling, including retraining or education. (Fam. Code § 4331(f); Hogoboom & King, supra, at § 6:849.)


Accordingly, the Court is not inclined to dispose of issues raised by either party without having heard the evidence, and rejects Petitioner’s argument that an expressly authorized discovery procedure should be read to preclude discovery on that very topic.  The motion is GRANTED.  Respondent shall bear all costs of examination with jurisdiction reserved to reallocate such expenses, including education or retraining if ordered, in an equitable manner after trial of the support issue.