October 23, 2018

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 www.stanct.org.

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: familylaw.tentatives@stanct.org 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: October 24, 2018                                 

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


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


Respondent’s Request for Order re Attorney’s Fees and Costs—APPEARANCE REQUIRED.

Respondent’s proof of service fails to demonstrate compliance with Family Code section 215, subd. (a), applicable due to the post-judgment status of the pending modification proceedings for which fees are sought.  As such, “service upon the attorney of record is not sufficient,” and any order that the Court might make would be void ab initio.  (Marriage of Seagondollar (2006) 139 Cal.App.4th 1116, 1130; Marriage of Kreiss (1990) 224 Cal.App.3d 1033, 1039-1040; In re Marriage of Gabriel (1975) 50 Cal.App.3d 556, 558; Hogoboom & King, Cal. Prac. Guide Family L., Ch. 17-G, § 17:379.) 

That said, denial of the motion on service grounds would naturally be without prejudice, and therefore would merely delay resolution of the issue with a concomitant increase in fees and costs.  Given that service of a represented party is ordinarily only proper on counsel of record (Code Civ. Proc. § 1015; Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 1.21(a).), and that Petitioner’s counsel presumably received the moving papers with sufficient time to file any objection or responsive declaration, with neither having been timely filed, Petitioner may wish to expressly waive objection and proceed with the merits.  (In re Marriage of Roden (1987) 193 Cal.App.3d 939, 944-945 [predecessor statute]; In re Marriage of Askren (1984) 157 Cal.App.3d 205, 210-211 [same]; Ruszovan v. Ruszovan (1969) 268 Cal.App.2d 902, 906 [same, implied waiver]; 6 Witkin, Cal. Proc. 5th PWT § 14 (2008).)

Assuming express waiver, counsel shall meet and confer prior to the hearing and advise the Court when an agreement has been reached or, in the alternative, that the matter will require a hearing; if the latter, all non-impeachment documents upon which reliance will be made shall be exchanged before the hearing.  (Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 5.98.)

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:


Petitioner’s Request for Order re Spousal Support, etc.—APPEARANCE REQUIRED.

All requests appear to require an evidentiary hearing.  Respondent shall provide a complete and signed Income and Expense Declaration, with copies to be provided to Petitioner’s counsel and the Court at the hearing, with filing and service to be completed thereafter.  The parties shall meet and confer prior to the hearing and apprise the Court of any agreements or stipulations, before the matter will be called for hearing.  (Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 5.98.)