Goodmorning everyone. Today is Wednesday, April 1st it is 11:10 AM we apologize forthe delay in our podcasts. They’re usually live at 10:00 AM but we did have to postpone it today. We received some major, major updates from the court as to thefuture of the core closures and a status update on it. So it just got done at leastthe family law section portion of it. So we wanted to update you guys and kind of fillyou in on what’s going on around you and mid COBIT 19 so Gina, I’m going to start withyou. What’s the update on the core closures
SPEAKER 2 00:40 – 01:23
Sure. So B, as we just heard, the courts will be closed for sure for the next two weeks. There’s really no staff at the courthouse. The only thing that they’re doing is accepting and receiving emergencies, which are the things that we talked about that would be domestic violence, physical harm to a child or kidnapping of a child. All other things are going to be processed even at a later date. They’re not even going to be received into the court. Bottom line is court is closed for sure for the through the next two weeks we’re defining that or interpreting that to be through April 15th
SPEAKER 1 01:24 – 01:29
so tell me about the staff and the core. Is the court going to have staff
SPEAKER 2 01:30 – 02:36
It sounds like the court only has a couple of dedicated people to receive email III filings and they’re only going through the filings if they are an emergency. If there are requests for a regular period, they’re not setting a date or processing the paperwork, they’re leaving it in a pile on the, on the desk of the clerk. If it is a judgment that’s being submitted, it’s being left on the desk of a clerk. If it’s a findings in order after hearing or a wage assignment, they are not being processed. So it’s our understanding or some sort of a judge on call who is reviewing emergencies and they’re signing them what we call over the counter, they’re reviewing paperwork, which the clerk believes might be an emergency. The court is in reviewing those to determie if the court thinks it’s an emergency and if it is they’re making some temporary orders. But the courts are close to the public and the staff is not there in the courthouse. It is literally closed for the next two weeks.
SPEAKER 1 02:36 – 02:53
So in terms of, I know there was discussion about how, how documents are being sent to pore. So if for documents that require original signatures or something like that, are they being mailed Is there a dropoff Is there someone accepting that The courthouse,
SPEAKER 2 02:53 – 03:08
what they indicated The only way you can get an original signature to the courthouse at the moment through us mail, they’re not being open, they’re not being processed, but they are accepting paperwork if it’s properly sent.
SPEAKER 1 03:09 – 03:12
And then there’s obviously still the electronic filing.
SPEAKER 2 03:13 – 03:18
There’s still the electronic filing. Yes. Which is the only way emergencies can be processed at the moment.
SPEAKER 1 03:19 – 03:33
Got it. Christie, I’m going to, I want to talk to you about custody. So the judge today kind of made some major announcements that were in line with what we have been talking about all along. Can you elaborate a little bit on that and what he said
SPEAKER 4 03:34 – 04:24
Absolutely be. But first I want to make an additional comment, about what Gina said in the court closures. there again, there is no, staff to process paperwork. But what I took away is that it, it is being received. So it’s not like we don’t file our paperwork. We, they’re not closed for that reason. And the beauty of it is, is that we, in Riverside County are e-file anyway. So they’re receiving the paperwork the same way they always have. It’s just the processing is going to be suspended because no one’s there to do it. It doesn’t mean that it’s not received though. They made that very clear that all items filed with the court or received or just going to get our court dates not so immediately.
SPEAKER 1 04:24 – 04:31
And what does that mean for court congestion then If the courts are closed for the next two weeks
SPEAKER 4 04:33 – 05:35
What I heard and took away is that there are going to be a lot of judicial officers, prioritizing the issues. Okay. So, and that would mean something beyond the scope of domestic violence restraining orders, which again, they’re hearing immediately, and making decisions regarding that. And when Gina refers to kidnapping, and I know I got asked the question about custody and what we heard today, kidnapping is not pursuant to the COBIT 19 when we talk kidnapping and is taking a child out of the state, out of the country, those types of emergencies. And I think that’s a very important distinction to make. in fact, the judge brought up an issue that I guess occurred in orange County where the police got involved and it was a big mess regarding a kidnapping and the judge was very clear that that’s not the type of emergency we’re talking about right now.
SPEAKER 1 05:36 – 05:47
And Christie, before, here’s in the custody, do you want to ask Gina Gina court congestion for the next two weeks What are you predicting Jesus, you know, I’m sorry you’re muted.
SPEAKER 2 05:51 – 06:38
I think us as attorneys are predicting that trials will probably be pushed out in the month of April. The court also indicated that they’re not even, reserving court dates right now, which means that if you’re filing papers now, they’re going to be prioritizing, as Christie said, which court dates are going to be sooner rather than later. And it sounds like what that means is if you maybe have a modification of child support or you have some other non-emergency hearings that are scheduled that they’re going to be pushed out later than they normally otherwise would be. So they’re going to have to pick and choose when once they reopened what they consider to be the most important issues because their time is going to be valuable.
SPEAKER 4 06:39 – 06:44
And have they given any sort of indication as to what would be considered an emergency and what wouldn’t
SPEAKER 2 06:45 – 07:38
I think it would be those things which are statutorily preferred. I took that to mean that if you have a temporary order in place such as an ex party order that’s been granted, those things have to be heard within 21 days because the court’s not open. I took that to mean that those types of hearings are going to have to be heard first. Another example would be if a domestic violence restraining order was granted what we call over the counter without a hearing, that hearing must be heard within 21 days. However, because the courts are closed right now, that’s not possible. So I’m taking this to mean that domestic violence matters and X parties emergencies are going to be the first things heard once they reopen. Christy shaking her head. Do you agree with me, Christie
SPEAKER 4 07:38 – 08:39
I absolutely do. I think that that it’s going to be a matter of priority for restraining orders and then custody issues, but not the typical, you know, I want more time on a Saturday. I think it’s going to be more significant than that, you know, abuse claims, addiction issues, things like that. So I agree with you, Gina. And then I think, but when, and, and what I also heard from the judge over and over again is that it is incumbent upon us, the attorneys to really work together now and to understand what this is going to create and help our clients navigate through that. It’s imperative that we have, you know, you, our clients, people have our assistance and I think we touched upon this in one of our other podcasts is that it’s really more important now more than ever to hire counsel to get you through the system so you don’t wind up at the bottom of the pile.
SPEAKER 2 08:40 – 08:56
So I agree. We discussed this in our office about what that means with regard to retroactivity of child support. can you please kind of expand on what we had talked about about the
SPEAKER 4 08:56 – 09:00
fact that they’re not filing the documents per se right now
SPEAKER 2 09:00 – 09:07
Yes. They’re not giving us court dates for child support or spousal support modifications and what that means to our clients.
SPEAKER 4 09:07 – 10:07
So what it means is, is that when we get received the modifications back, I mean we’re not receiving them back. Number one, let me, let me, I misspoke. We’re not receiving them right now, but they are being received. So we are getting a confirmation from the court, a receipt, if you will, that says that our documents have been received. What I’ve instructed my paralegals to do in terms of service is to serve the documents. Right now, even though they’re blank, even though they don’t have a court date, serve it with a cover letter saying that we are anticipating a court date and also with the receipt from the court. And then in our proof of service we show all that, that that’s what we serve. And so once they’ve muddled this giant mess, we will have a court date and then we just have to serve that court date. And that I believe would reserve the red directivity all the way back even though we don’t have the date right now.
SPEAKER 2 10:08 – 10:36
So I’m sorry B. So to just interpret what you’re saying and in non lawyer talk, normally when we file a request to change support, it’s going to go back to the day we filed. However, right now they’re not filing. So right now people can’t go backward in time, but we figured out a work around in our clients will not hopefully have that issue. That’s basically what we’re saying. Right,
SPEAKER 4 10:36 – 10:39
SPEAKER 1 10:40 – 11:10
That’s okay. So I know having to kind of separate and dissect it more. So let me, I want to shift gears to custody because that was a huge, huge topic that, and judge received a lot of questions about it. Tell us what the judge said concerning custody exchanges, the fears of 19 and how, and also, well, let me do this. Let’s start with what was the governor, what was the judge’s position on the governor’s orders versus your current custody order
SPEAKER 4 11:12 – 12:17
Well, I think it’s what we’ve been saying all along and quite frankly, I feel rather vindicated in that regard. I know that there’s been some disparity in information given to parties regarding the, the, the shelter in place order. And in fact, I believe the judge and I wrote it down, referred to it as a global pandemic. So health and safety is the absolute focus right now and everything else just simply has to wait. That’s the interpretation I got. The judge also said that everybody’s to be reasonable, which is what we’ve said from day one. And to reach out to the other parent, offer makeup time, the judge, that’s a direct quote from the judge saying at some time down the line, offer makeup time, make sure the child has, they have access to the child via videos, zoom, whatever it is. but he actually expanded it more than I think our considerations were, which I found very interesting.
SPEAKER 4 12:17 – 13:19
And again, very reassuring is that in every case the court, the judge was saying that you have to look at the specific facts of each case and he gave a laundry list of facts to consider when you want to modify your order and not allow these exchanges. And, and they were, that you, you have to consider factors like violating parents who were violating the shelter in place. Like if any, gave an example, like your child, comes back from visitation and says, mommy or daddy, or took me to the store. Those kinds of things. high population areas versus less densely populated areas. he said that, you know, and, and all the other factors that we were thinking of and what we’ve talked about, you know, what, what does that parent do for a living Are they a necessary worker Do they work in the hospitals
SPEAKER 4 13:19 – 14:39
All of those are considerations for adhering to one child’s remaining with the parent that is less exposed to all those sorts of issues. And he said that, and what we said is that reasonableness is going to be the consideration of the court when all this is over. He said that we have to look beyond ourselves right now. I, that’s an interpretation. It’s not a direct quote, but we have to look beyond ourselves right now and understand. And, and again, I quote this is a global pandemic that the health and safety and welfare of all of the citizens of the world are at stake here. And right now we just have to look at those factors in determining where is this child best place right now. And he said, as we’ve said, this is all temporary. This may last for, you know, maybe a few more months and then everything goes back to normal and when the dust settles, rest assured the court is going to look to what was reasonable and we have been inviting our clients to beach out to us so that we can assist in in, in these discussions. So I again, I felt very vindicated as our firm has been saying exactly what he said from day one.
SPEAKER 4 14:40 – 14:52
Did you hear what I heard Which is that this is a pause on visitation. This is a pause
SPEAKER 2 14:53 – 15:09
and the child should not be going back and forth between two households because there is a global pandemic and the governor and the president have made it clear that the entire nation’s health is at risk.
SPEAKER 4 15:10 – 15:41
I, I did hear it that way, but I think he also said over and over again, it is fact intensive. And what that means is again, all of those factors, you know, it has to be reasonable under the circumstances. But yes, I felt that the undercurrent was that everybody should stay place right now. And if the child’s with you then, then that’s just the way it is right now. But don’t use it to your advantage. Don’t, don’t.
SPEAKER 2 15:45 – 16:30
But I also took it to mean that there could be circumstances where exchanging the child might still be reasonable because again, it’s a reasonable standard if both parents are sheltering in place and the child is sheltering in place and everybody has already been confirmed that there is no health risk to whoever’s in the household. Perhaps under those circumstances it would be reasonable to continue to exchange the child. But he also said that under most circumstances it’s envisioned that custody or visitation could be paused cause that what you heard.
SPEAKER 4 16:30 – 16:33
Yup. That’s what I heard Gina. That’s exactly what I heard.
SPEAKER 1 16:33 – 16:57
There’s one more point that I want to highlight. and I, I’m going to put it in the form of a question. during our prior podcasts, there was the concern about the police getting involved and one officer saying the exchanges must go forward or otherwise you haul you to jail. And the other saying, I’m not getting involved. What was the judge’s position on that
SPEAKER 4 16:58 – 17:43
I think the judge’s position, and both of you correct me if I’m wrong, I think the judges position was why are you involving them right now They have better, they are bigger fish to fry right now and that is this health, safety and welfare of our nation. So you calling them about these issues. He really used that orange County one as an example of, and he said, I don’t know what a w there’s been no direction from law enforcement but, but his bigger point and I, I received that, that was well received by me is why are you involving law enforcement right now in something like this because of what the other issues going on right now, which are very serious.
SPEAKER 2 17:45 – 18:41
well I think it goes back to what we had said all along. We, we heard from judge Jennifer Gerard who I believe is the presiding judge in family law and they basically mimicked what we have been saying, which is number one, reach out to the other side. Number two, try to get an agreement in writing. Make sure that any offer includes makeup time and access to the child. If the child is in one home, if that doesn’t work, what they indicated is they’re not going to be hearing those matters right now. Don’t bother filing an emergency hearing. We’re not going to hear it later on down the road. We will hear it to determine whether or not the part one parent who withheld the child was acting reasonably based upon that child’s circumstances and it goes to what we have said, which is violent.
SPEAKER 2 18:41 – 19:17
RFO filed a request for hearing. If you believe that for some reason you cannot send the child back and forth. This is a case by case basis that we evaluate and it goes back to you need to call your attorney if you’re you’re planning on withholding because just because there’s this shelter in place order doesn’t mean that the courts are going to look at your specific actions as favorable. You need to make sure you set the stage so that when you do get to court, if the other side takes you that the court can look at the factors and say, yes, that parent acted reasonably
SPEAKER 4 19:17 – 20:16
and Gina, sorry. No, go ahead. I want to give this in a context because it’s not only the people that are going to file the RFoG based on, having the child but also the ones that don’t have the child. And again, I will, I’m going to get, I’m going to put this in a context. So from, I felt like the judge judges, determination or factors that that will be considered was way more overbroad than mine personally were. I thought relating to, you know, is this a high population density area or not is a factor. I didn’t even think of that quite frankly. but so I want to put this in a context. So you know, a parent reaches out to say, Hey, this goes to the co-parenting. Hey, you know, I understand you want to see the child. Please tell me about, you know, your husband and your home.
SPEAKER 4 20:16 – 21:12
I know your husband has other kids. can you please tell me what their parenting time is and tell me what their other parent does. I mean, that’s the level of inquiry that needs to happen. And if the responses, I don’t have to give that information to you, then I feel like, you know, you’ve done all your homework, you’ve tried to reach out, you’ve tried to say, look, you know, I need to know about all this and at the other parents like still in that, you know, conflict ridden mentality and says it’s none of your business. And then I think you’ve done your due diligence in that regard. You know, I think what was the big point today was you, you better put all your differences aside, co-parent, understand the extreme, extremity of the situation and act.
SPEAKER 1 21:13 – 21:55
And Christie, I do want to not with specifically with law enforcement getting involved, I know the judge indicated that there was no clear indication which way they would, go or proceed on that issue. But I think my interpretation was that at the end of the day, it’s gonna come down to the core at the end of the day, after all this blows over. It doesn’t matter what law enforcement does now. And he hopes that we wouldn’t be getting him involved, like you said. But at the end of the day it’s going to come back to the court and to the judge and it’s going to be held that a reasonable standard. Is that fair to say Absolutely. Now one more question for you that the court envisioned that it could be reasonable for a parent with holding a child even in a 50 50 situation, 50 50 custody.
SPEAKER 4 21:56 – 22:53
Oh, I, I believe so. Absolutely. I think, I think what his point, which is what I think I think has been missed a little bit in the family law community is that, you know, we’re always told it is our rule of thumb as attorneys that we cannot advise a client to violate a court order period. End of story. And I understand that some of the legal family law community took that position. I get it. I, you know, we, we struggled with it but, but what I got is that, you know, they’re even putting health and safety standard above what I think. Like I said, what I personally envisioned. So yes, if you have to look to the facts, you know, what do, what is the parent do for a living, you know, all of those, those, those issues and, and exposure. I think the health and safety was paramount to that conversation today.
SPEAKER 1 22:53 – 22:56
Thank you. Misty, do you have any final remarks
SPEAKER 4 22:56 – 23:12
I don’t, I just, I wish everybody safe and healthy. we are all going through this together and we are here for you and I just hope that everybody continues to stay healthy and we’ll get through this together, I promise.
SPEAKER 1 23:13 – 23:15
Thank you. Christie. Gina, any closing remarks
SPEAKER 2 23:15 – 24:13
Sure. The only thing I want to add this joy is that it’s kind of the conversation we had with the therapist the other day. If the parents are having a custody dispute, why would you call a law enforcement officer to expose them to possibly getting coven 19 because of a domestic dispute. We’re supposed to be worrying about other people’s health and safety as well as our own plus. What is it 15% of police officers in New York are, are positive with COBIT 19 if you call the police officer in orange County or Riverside County because of a custody dispute that police officer may have covert 19 and now you’re exposing yourself and your children. So the idea is to limit your exposure to other people to shelter in place and to hunker down so that we can flatten the curve.
SPEAKER 1 24:14 – 24:59
Perfect. Thank you Gina. And I do want to remind everyone who was unable to join againand we did delay the podcast just because of the updates we received from the court.But this podcast will be posted on all of our social media websites. Please continueto send us your questions and we’ll get them answered. Our podcasts will resumetomorrow at 10:00 AM and again, please, if you have any questions, feel free to sendthem to us. We’d be getting really good questions. Other than that we’re available toyou. you can get, you can find this on our what site. You can call us at nine five onefive eight, seven zero five zero five or you can email us at info at Temecula divorceback home. Thank you again, Christy and Gina for joining me. Take care. And God blesseveryone. Yes.