WHAT THE CORONAVIRUS MEANS TO YOUR FAMILY LAW CASE as of March 19, 2020
March 19, 2020
Dear Valued Client,
The country is in unchartered times and business owners are working hard to meet the needs of their clients during this period. We remain ready to serve you because we know that your needs do not go away just because the coronavirus is here.
As result, we are taking a three pronged approach:
1. Court: This week the Courts announced near closings. The guidelines for each court are attached. In short, family law hearings, except for domestic violence cases in Riverside, are being continued to new dates. We will keep you posted of any new information happening with your case.
2. Client Communication: We continue to work and are here for you, but all communication will be via telephone, video conference, Basecamp and email. The Ontario and Riverside office are open to receive documents under the door and via mail, only. We ask that you to conduct all business via the other methods of communication.
3. Client Work: We continue to work on all active cases and do not have any shortage of employee resources. This is the benefit of working in an office where all operations can be managed remotely. Other than limitations extended by the Courts, you should not see any interruption in your family law case. Some courts are still accepting the filing of documents.
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING FILING A REQUEST FOR ORDER, NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE. I anticipate there will be a rush on the courts once they reopen. If we prepare your papers now, they should be at the head of the stack when the courts begin assigning new hearing dates.
We appreciate that our country is in an unprecedented state right now and that you may have additional stresses to deal with. Please let us know how we can help you. Stay well!
CURRENT INFORMATION REGARDING LOCAL COURTS as of March 19, 2020
All non-emergency cases on calendar between now and April 2, 2020, are automatically being continued. For those with hearings, we will notify you once we receive the new hearing date. The court is short staffed right now so it may take a bit. Any temporary restraining orders will be re-issued until the next hearing date, which I estimate will be within 30 days of your currently set hearing date.
The Family Law Court will only hear domestic violence restraining orders and ex parte (emergency) requests. All other matters will be continued. Telephonic appearance may be ordered on a case-by-case basis. For those with hearings, we will notify you once we receive the any new hearing date. The court is short staffed right now so it may take a bit. We have not been advised how long this will be in effect. They continue to accept new filings.
All courtrooms are closed until March 19, 2020 and only restraining orders and ex parte matters will be heard for the next 29 days. In the next few days, if you need a restraining order, contact the police department to get an emergency protective order until you can get back to court. After that, we can file in the courthouse. All other non-emergency family law hearings will likely be continued.
All courtrooms are closed until March 27, 2020. We have not been provided any Information about any exceptions. As of right now, they are still receiving e-filings.