On March 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a California statewide “stay at home” order for California residents, including San Diego County residents. The San Diego Superior Court issued reduced Court Operations on March 16, 2020, which are effective March 17, 2020 through April 3, 2020. Many California defendants, litigants, and practitioner’s are effected by these reduced Court Operations.
Per the San Diego Superior Court website, the court will be CLOSED for:
CRIMINAL: All criminal proceedings including arraignments, readiness, pre-trial motions, trials and sentencing.
CIVIL: All civil proceedings will be rescheduled. All Unlawful Detainer (UD) matters will be rescheduled.
FAMILY: All family court departments are closed. All family court counseling and mediation matters will be rescheduled. The Family Law Facilitator’s office will be closed to the public. All clinics and workshops have been cancelled. All family support matters will be rescheduled.
TRAFFIC: All traffic matters will be rescheduled. All those cited to appear in Traffic Court will have a 30-day grace period starting when the court reopens all services (monitor sdcourt.ca.gov for service updates).
SMALL CLAIMS: All Small Claims matters will be continued. The Small Claims Advisor will be closed.
JUVENILE: All Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency matters will be continued. All adoption and citation calendars will be continued.
PROBATE: All Probate hearings are suspended. All in-person visits related to guardianship and conservatorship cases will be suspended.
However, the Court will be OPEN for the following:
• Chamber ex-parte requests for civil harassment TROs, DVTROs, and Gun Violence Protective Orders at each branch;
• Emergency ex-parte lockout proceedings (UD);
• One Family law judge at each branch will review ex-parte requests for emergency TROs, Guardianship requests where a minor’s safety is at risk;
• One Juvenile judge will be available for emergency orders and Dependency detentions;
• One Probate judge will be available to cover emergency conservatorship and other emergency orders in Probate; and
• All search warrants (day and night) will be electronically submitted.
What does this mean for a Family Law litigant?
Any court hearings that fall within the time frame mentioned above will not be moving forward. The tentative re-opening of the San Diego Superior Court is set for Monday, April 6, 2020; however, this date is subject to change as the COVID-19 situation is fluid and ongoing. If you are exploring the possibility of filing for Dissolution, Legal Separation, or a Paternity action, feel free to give our office a call. The stay-at-home order can present unique difficulties for individual’s contemplating Dissolution or Legal Separation. If you find yourself in this position or even have general questions, feel free to contact our office.
We are available for Confidential telephonic, video, or messaging consultations. We have expanded our hours to virtually 24/7 to make ourselves available to meet the needs of individuals who are need of legal assistance.
Attorney Harris is also a certified Mediator who has assisted client’s over her almost 40 years as a practicing attorney in California. For more information, feel free to contact our office.
What if I have Parenting, Child Custody, Child Visitation, or other issues?
Co-parenting during this time can be particularly difficult due to school and employment closures, and many families are adapting to this temporary “new normal” during this pandemic. The courts are OPEN for Emergency issues relating to the health, safety, and welfare of children and Family Law Domestic Violence requests for Temporary Restraining Orders.
For families in need of food assistance, the San Diego Unified School District has in place various food distribution locations throughout the County.
How do I keep myself and children busy during the stay-at-home order?
While many parents are facing the dilemma of children home from school during this time, parents across California are probably wondering how to occupy the time of children, who seem to have unlimited energy. Although social distancing is recommended by the Center for Disease Control, try and get outside; take a walk with the family; let the kids ride bikes in the neighborhood; or teach the kids how to garden. Many companies have also announced free educational resources during the school closures for parents who need some ideas or extra resources. There are also various workout classes and programs that are now available to live stream from the comfort of your home to not only keep YOU, the parents sane, but also to burn off the kid’s extra energy.
We are here to help!
The Harris Law Office, APC is here to assist with not only Family Law needs, but also Criminal and Civil needs. Let help our family help yours. From a simple question to a more complicated situation, we are here to help. We are available via many virtual platforms including video, conference call, telephone call, e-mail, or text messaging. Give us a call, 760-720-4566, or send us an e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.