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What To Know About Filing Documents With Orange County Family Court During Covid-19 Crisis

BREAKING NEWS: This information supplements the previous 3/23/2020 order of the Orange County Superior Court.

Pursuant to the 3/24/2020 order of the Orange County Superior Court, as a result of COVID-19, Orange County Family Law Court is temporarily closed.

All non-emergency matters through June 1st are being continued by order of the Court. For domestic violence cases pending a hearing prior to June1st, the hearing and temporary restraining orders are automatically extended 25 days for good cause and an additional 25 days, if necessary, for good cause. New hearing dates can be found on the court’s public website under online case access, http://www.occourts.org/onlineservices/case-access/.

For Family Law Emergency Matters:

(1) The Court has established an electronic submission process to receive domestic violence restraining orders and emergency child custody requests that involve an imminent threat of injury or death to a child. Filings received on or before 4:00pm will be processed the same day, and filings on or after 4:01pm will be processed the following business day;

(2) For domestic violence restraining orders, parties MUST comply with notice requirements set forth in Orange County Local Rule 704 and the notice should state written responses or oppositions can be submitted to the Court through electronic filing or by contacting the court at [email protected] or by phone at 657-622-6504.

(3) The Court will accept Stipulations to Private Judge submitted on Pleading format through the electronic filing system using the file code Agreement – Other.

Assistance for the public needing emergency help:

(1) Self-represented parties may find assistance in completing forms by visiting the court’s website at http://www.occourts.org/self-help/

(2) Family law has provided an email address to the public to receive help with electronic submissions, [email protected]

(3) A direct line has been set up for public contact, 657-622-6504. Bilingual staff is available to answer phones.

(4) The family law email and telephone number are posted on the court’s public website.

Non-Urgent Matters:

(1) All other documents, excluding emergency domestic violence and emergency child custody documents, will be processed at the earliest, on June 2nd or until further notice. Those documents pending in the e-filing queue, as well as received by mail, will remain pending in the submitted status. There will be no exceptions.

(2) All prior orders issued by a Family Law Judicial Officer, if any, shall remain in full force and effect.

(3) In person supervised visitation shall be suspended by Administrative Order of the Family Law Supervising Judge, however TELEPHONE OR VIDEO SUPERVISED VISITATION SHALL BE ALLOWED AS ARRANGED PER THE EXISTING SUPERVISED VISITATION PROVIDER.

No other court business will be conducted until further notice.

Further Clarification About Orange County Family Law filings through June 1, 2020:

I have obtained further information that further clarifies this order. We have learned that for any documents submitted to the Orange County Family Law Court that does not need clerk review (such as a Proof of Service, etc.) will still be filed electronically by the Court.

However, for any documents submitted to Orange County Family Law Court that needs clerk review (such as a Request for Order that has to be calendared, a submitted Stipulation & Order or Judgment that requires a judge’s signature, etc.), they will show as “pending” and be placed in a queue for clerk review when the courts open, i.e. starting June 2, 2020. So these filings will be reviewed in the order that they are received.

Also, for all Ex-Parte emergency filings (i.e. restraining orders and emergency custody filings) will be submitted and rejected automatically. Then the documents will be sent back with notes on what the judge wants or needs to move forward with the ruling. The judge will contact the filing attorney as well as the opposition attorney.

We hope that this information is helpful. Please contact our firm by email at [email protected] or by phone to (949) 553-0304 if you need any assistance with restraining orders, emergency custody filings, planning for future divorce proceedings, and online mediation of any family law disputes including divorce, child custody, property division, and child and spousal support.

Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law lawyer and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediationchild custodyprenuptial agreementsstepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters. His firm can be reached by email to [email protected] and by phone at (949) 553-0304 and on the web at www.maggiolawfirm.com.

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