July 21, 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: July 23, 2018                                                                                                                            

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

 8008219 - FELLER VS. FELLER

Petitioner’s Request for Order re “Appoint Elisor”—GRANTED, conditionally.

The Court finds on the basis of Petitioner’s declaration, and the admissions contained in Respondent’s declaration, that Respondent has refused to sign documents that he has previously been ordered by the Court to sign that are necessary to close of escrow and consummation of the Court’s order for sale of the subject marital residence.  Consequently, the Court grants the request, conditionally, and appoints the Clerk of the Court or Clerk’s Designee, as elisor to sign on Respondent’s behalf.  Petitioner must submit a proposed order in full compliance with the Local Rules, rule 7.05.2, to wit, the proposed order must state the following:

(1.) The Court appoints the Clerk of the Court or Clerk’s Designee as elisor to sign on Respondent (Darrin Feller and/or Darrin L. Feller)’s behalf as a Seller in the court-ordered sale of the residence located at 11306 Scarlet Drive, in the City of Oakdale, State of California. 

(2.) The elisor shall sign wherever Respondent’s signature is required on the approved documents, true and correct copies of which are attached to the [proposed] Order.

(3.) Petitioner shall present the original documents to be signed upon approval of the [proposed] Order to the Clerk or Clerk’s designee, who is authorized to sign as indicated on behalf of Respondent provided the original documents match the copies attached to the [proposed] Order.

(4.) If Respondent’s signature(s) must be notarized, Petitioner shall arrange for a notary public to be present at the office of the Clerk or Clerk’s designee at the time of the elisor’s signature and the notary public is hereby authorized to ascribe the signature of the elisor in lieu of that of Respondent pursuant to this [proposed] Order.

The Self-Help Center offers free help to people who are representing themselves in Court in a variety of legal matters.  Assistance is provided daily on a walk-in first-come, first-served basis.  Office Hours are Monday – Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Fridays 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  Location:  800 11th Street, Room 220, Modesto, California.

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


Petitioner’s Request for Order re Elisor, etc.—GRANTED, in part; DENIED, in part.

On the basis of the parties’ respective declarations, and giving due consideration to the respective QDRO’s presented by each, the Court finds that Respondent has a good faith dispute regarding the appropriate terminology based on the subject plan’s exemplar QDRO.  The request for an elisor is therefore denied without prejudice at this time.  However, the Court also finds that Respondent’s purely technical objections to Petitioner’s QDRO on the basis of line numbering, spacing, kerning, etc., as set forth in the Rules of Court are without merit and inapplicable to plan approval under ERISA law.  Accordingly, the Court grant’s Petitioner’s request, in part, and orders Respondent to sign Petitioner’s QDRO with the following revisions:

  • Number 3, of page 2, lines 16 - 18, the first full sentence shall be deleted and replaced with the following language adapted by the Court from Respondent’s sample QDRO, so as to read: “Alternate Payee’s separate interest in the Plan arising from the marriage of the Participant to the Alternate Payee is 50% of the Participant’s total vested account balance valued as the difference between the account balance on the date of marriage on May 18, 1996, or as soon thereafter as a positive balance existed, and the total vested account balance as of the date of separation on December 22, 2015 (Awarded Interest).


  • Number 3, of page 2, lines 18 – 20, the second full sentence shall be deleted and replaced with the following language similarly adapted by the Court, so as to read: “Pending distribution or segregation into a separate account, the Alternate Payee’s Awarded Interest shall be credited or debited, as the case may be, with any gains and losses attributable to such interest in the same manner as any gains and losses are allocated to the Participant’s remaining benefit.

Petitioner shall prepare the revised QDRO in accordance with this Order, and shall submit the QDRO to the plan for pre-approval as to form.  If any terms, other than those ordering equal division and apportionment as per the judgment incorporating the parties’ marital settlement agreement, are unacceptable to the plan, then Petitioner shall replace such terms with language acceptable to the plan and re-submit the revised QDRO for approval as to form by the plan.  Both parties are expected to cooperate in good faith and to share equally in any expenses or costs necessary for final approval of the QDRO.  The Court will set this matter for a compliance review hearing on September 5, 2018, at _9AM, in Department 13, with both parties ordered to appear unless five (5) or more days before the hearing the Petitioner advises the Court and Respondent that the plan has given final approval as to form, in which case neither party need appear and the QDRO executed by both parties may be submitted to the Court for signature.

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: