September 21, 2020

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: September 21, 2020



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


FL-20-000431 – SMITH VS SMITH


Attorney for Respondent’s Motion to Be Relieved—MOOT.


A substitution of attorney for Respondent was filed on August 11, 2020.  Accordingly, Attorney’s motion is moot and the hearing is vacated.  No appearances are necessary.



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




Petitioner’s Request for Order re, inter alia, Attorney’s Fees & Costs—HEARING REQUIRED.


Petitioner’s support requests are ineligible for tentative ruling.  (Local Rules, rule 7.06(A).)  Regarding Petitioner’s request for attorney’s fees and costs, the Request for Order (RFO) originally sought only need-based fees on a pendente lite basis according to proof at the hearing.  (See, FL-319 attachment to Petitioner’s RFO, and Attachment 6, p. 3.)  


However, on August 5, 2020, Petitioner filed a Memorandum of Points & Authorities (P&A) and a Supplemental Declaration in which Petitioner argues for an award of attorney’s fees as conduct-based sanctions pursuant to Family Code section 271. As Petitioner’s own P&A argues, the two grounds for an award of attorney’s fees are widely disparate and the showing of need essential to the former is entirely irrelevant to the latter.  (P&A, p. 2, ln. 1-19.)  Consequently, the Court finds that the “supplemental” 271 fee request is an improper augmentation without leave of court of the original issues raised by the RFO.  (Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 5.92(b)(1) [The Request for Order (form FL-300) must set forth facts sufficient to notify the other party of the moving party's contentions in support of the relief requested].)  Here, Petitioner’s RFO did not give notice of an intent to seek 271 sanctions and the Court finds that adequate due process is lacking with respect to the supplemental request.  (In re Marriage of Hublou (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 956, 964–965 [for awards based principally on the wrongful conduct of a party or attorney, sufficient notice and a hearing is required before sanctions may be imposed].)  


Petitioner’s supplemental 271 request is therefore denied without prejudice; the Court reserves jurisdiction to impose 271 sanctions upon a duly noticed request involving the conduct alleged by Petitioner herein, including any prior or subsequent conduct of Respondent warranting such.  The Court will hear and decide the needs-based attorney’s fees and costs request by Petitioner at the hearing.  Counsel shall meet and confer on all issues and shall exchange all documents prior to hearing, as required. (Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 5.98.)





Respondent’s Request for Order re Bifurcate, etc.—DENIED, without prejudice.


Respondent did not complete and serve the mandatory Judicial Council form attachment for bifurcation requests.  (Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 5.390(a); FL-315.)  Respondent concedes that a pension plan subject to division has not been joined, as required; this is not optional and Respondent offers no authority for “minimal amount” exception to the requirement.  (Id., rule 5.390(d)(1).)  


That said, assuming appropriate protective conditions are included in the status-only judgment, using the mandatory FL-347 attachment, the other threshold requirements appear to be satisfied and the parties are free to submit a stipulation for early status termination, waiving or otherwise reserving the Court’s jurisdiction to equalize the allegedly minimal community interest in the subject pension plan.



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:


FL-19-003882- QUIROGA v. QUIROGA- Petitioner’s request for orders (RFO) re reconsidering denial of hearing on previous RFO-DENIED 


The court considers entry of judgment of summary dissolution in this case to have closed the file and questions its ability to make visitation orders at all under Family Code section 2400.  (See, e.g., Fam. Code, §§ 2400 [describing eligibility to petition for summary dissolution], 2404 [describing effect of summary dissolution judgment].)  Moreover, the court is aware that petitioner is simultaneously asserting the right to presumed mother status in a separate case, Quiroga v. Carillo, FL-20-001838, which is being heard in Department 11 of this court. It is well-established that, “because a superior court is but one tribunal, an order ‘made in one department during the progress of a cause can neither be ignored nor overlooked in another department ....’[Citation.][, and] [t]his rule has been applied in a myriad of settings in both criminal and civil cases.”  (In re Alberto (2002) 102 Cal.App.4th 421, 428.)  This court will not allow two different departments to simultaneously consider whether petitioner can qualify as the presumed mother of her stepdaughter, and, as nothing remains to be done in the summary dissolution case, the court presiding over that case directs petitioner to pursue any claims to visitation with the minor child in Department 11.  The motion for reconsideration is DENIED because it presents no “new or different facts, circumstances, or law” as required by Code of Civil Procedure, section 1008, subdivision (a), but instead disagrees with this court’s interpretation of Family Code section 3101 as applied in this action.