May 18, 2020 Family Law Process Changes

Given the ongoing concerns over COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, and emergency orders currently in place, we are implementing a process to move forward with family law dockets.

Beginning May 18, 2020, all family law dockets will proceed as scheduled. However, the default rule moving forward will be to have all family law motions decided solely on the pleadings (no oral argument). Additionally, proposed orders must be delivered as bench copies and emailed to the appropriate docket judge and judicial assistant, so written decisions and orders can be made and entered as quickly as possible. This will eliminate the need for any presentation dockets or additional hearings. While this decision was instigated by the current circumstances we are under, the intention is for this to be the new normal and continue forward, with potential for modification.

Timelines and Details for this revised process are as follows:

  • Motions shall be filed and served 21 days before the court/decision date.
  • Responses are due 14 days prior to the court/decision date.
  • Replies are due 7 days prior to the court/decision date.
  • Any party may request oral argument. If approved, the parties shall appear telephonically or via approved videoconferencing technology.
  • The Judge may also notify the parties that oral argument is needed, and will do so at least three days before the court/decision date.

Please know for the foreseeable future, trial time priority will be given to criminal cases. We are encouraging, and will make as much time as possible for arbitration, binding settlement conferences, and other alternative resolutions.

Your patience continues to be greatly appreciated as we work through this pandemic, attempting to keep everyone safe and fostering our community's much needed access to the courts. 

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