February 18, 2018

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Family Law Tentative Ruling Announcements
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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: February 20, 2018


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

8006536 - CAMP VS WATSON

Petitioner’s Request for Order re “Re-Open Case”—DENIED.

Petitioner has failed to file proof of service as required.  (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 5.94(b).)  Aside from this, Petitioner failed to appear twice, including at an Order to Show Cause hearing after her first failure to appear.  Petitioner made no effort to prosecute the action besides service of summons despite directions by the Court.  There is no authority for a motion to “re-open” an involuntarily dismissed case.  Even liberally construing the request as a motion for relief or to set-aside dismissal pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 473(b), Petitioner’s statements that her failures to appear resulted from unspecified “mail issues” are vague and insufficient to establish mistake, surprise, inadvertence or excusable neglect as required.  Absent this, the involuntary dismissal constituted a final judgment that deprives the Court of further jurisdiction to proceed.  (Code Civ. Proc. § 581d; Lakkees v. Superior Court (1990) 220 Cal.App.3d 531, 540; Gogri v. Jack In The Box Inc. (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 255, 261.)  Consequently, Petitioner must file a new action if she wishes to proceed with dissolution. 

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

THERE ARE NO TENTATIVES


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

8009410 – AZURDUY V. RATLIFF

 Petitioner’s Request for Order Granting Exclusive Possession of Marital Home – APPEARANCE REQUIRED.

The determination of the issue rests within the Court’s discretion (Fam. Code §§6321, 6340), and the parties shall appear to present their respective positions.

695901 – BARTLETT V. THOMPSON

Third-Party’s Notice of Motion re Joinder— DENIED, without prejudice.

Proof of service does not demonstrate adequate notice to Respondent/Father, as personal service is required.  (Fam. Code §3104(c).)   Unless Respondent appears and waives such defect or proper service can be demonstrated, Third Party will be required to seek reissuance. 

Mandatory joinder is not available in this situation due to the post-judgment status of the proceedings.  (Stan. Cnty. Local Rules, rule 7.71.1(B)(3).)  Accordingly, this matter is governed by Fam. Code §3104.  (In re Marriage of Harris (2004) 34 Cal.4th 210, 222.)  Before ordering the joinder of a grandparent of a minor child in the proceeding under Family Code §3104, the Court must take the actions described in section 3104(a).  (Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 5.24(e)(1)(B); Stan. Cnty. Local Rules, rule 7.71.1(B)(3).) 

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 Loretta Murphy Begen in Department #25:

8005191 - BRIDGES VS WEI

Respondent’s Request for Order re Set Aside Default, etc.—GRANTED, in part; MOOT, in part; CONTINUED, in part; and unopposed.

Petitioner’s Request for Entry of Default failed to attach the requisite disclosure forms on the basis that there were “no changes since the previous filing.”  However, Petitioner has not filed any of the forms in question to date.  As relief is requested in the petition mandates such, the entry of default is consequently void.  (Fam. Code §§ 2107(d), 2122(f); Local Rules, rule 7.03(F).)  The court has the right and power at any time to vacate a void entry of default and/or default judgment. (Code Civ. Proc. § 473(d); Eagle Electric Mfg. Co. v. Keener (1966) 247 Cal.App.2d 246.)  When the moving party promptly seeks relief and there is no prejudice to the opposing party, very slight evidence is required to justify relief. (Mink v. Superior Court (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 1338, 1343.)  Moreover, this is in keeping with the policy of the law favoring trial on the merits.  (Elston v. City of Turlock (1985) 38 Cal.3d 227, 233; Rappleyea v. Campbell (1994) 8 Cal.4th 975.)  The Court liberally construes a timely motion for relief pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 473(b) in doubtful cases and, particularly in light of Petitioner’s non-opposition and the absence of prejudice, set aside of default is GRANTED.  Respondent shall file and serve her proposed response within ten (10) days of this Order.  Regarding the request to set aside judgment, none has been entered and the request is therefore MOOT.  Lastly, as for the request to set aside the alleged marital settlement agreement, it is premature to entertain the motion until the default has been set aside and Respondent has made a general appearance.  That request is therefore CONTINUED to a date certain to be determined at the hearing, with the issue deemed raised as of the date of filing and pending until further hearing.