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Family Law Tentative Rulings

Family Law Tentative Ruling Announcements

The family court issues tentative ruling announcements on the court day prior to the scheduled hearing for specific types of motions. Tentative rulings are only provided on the Internet and posted in the clerk’s office lobby. Internet postings occur at 1:30 p.m. daily.

Parties are not required to give notice of intent to appear to preserve the right to a hearing. The tentative ruling will not become final until the hearing. (Stan. Cnty. Local Rules, rule 7.05.1) However, as a courtesy to the Court, and other parties or counsel with matters on calendar, notice of intended appearance or non-appearance is encouraged and may be sent by e-mail to the following address: between the hours of 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail from the clerk, you may call to speak directly with a Calendar Clerk at 209-530-3107.

Any party filing pleadings or documents on a tentative ruling matter within five (5) days of the hearing should provide a courtesy copy to the Courtroom Clerk and the Court’s Family Law Research Attorney by placing a copy in the drop box slot on the door of Room 223, Second Floor of the main Courthouse. Failure to do so may prevent the Court from consideration of such, may result in a continuance, and/or may be considered in the award of conduct-based fees and costs. (Stan. Cnty. Local Rules, rule 7.05.1(B).)

All parties and counsel are required to meet and confer in a good faith effort to resolve the dispute on any request, motion or hearing, with the exception of those involving domestic violence, and to exchange any documents upon which reliance will be made at the hearing. (Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 5.98; Stan. Cnty. Local Rules, rule 7.05.1(C).) Failure to do so may result in a continuance and may be considered in the award of conduct-based fees and costs, or both. If sufficient information regarding an adequate pre-hearing meet and confer effort is not provided in the moving and opposing papers, in the Court’s discretion, the matter may be placed at the end of the calendar and not called until the parties or counsel advise the Court that they have complied with their obligations and/or resolved the matter.

Date: November 28, 2023

The following are the tentative ruling cases calendared before Judge Alan Cassidy in Department #11:


The following are the tentative ruling cases calendared before Judge J. Richard Distaso in Department #13:


Pet’s RFO for Bifurcation of Status – HEARING REQUIRED.

The Court finds that Petitioner’s pension plan has not been joined hereto as required by Fam.Code. § 2337(d)(1).


Resp’s RFO for Vocational Exam of Pet and Appointment of Evidence Code 703 Expert – HEARING REQUIRED.

Petitioner states that she has no objection to submitting to the requested vocational examination subject to certain conditions which will need to be addressed.

The following are the tentative ruling cases calendared before Judge Sweena Pannu in Department #14:


Petitioner’s Request for Order re “Judgment on Monies Owed.”—DENIED, without prejudice.

There is no proof of service on file as required.  (Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 5.94(b).)  As Respondent has not appeared in the action, and because Petitioner requested and the Court granted an order shortening time, service must be made in the same manner as otherwise allowed for service of summons.  (Cal. Rules of Ct., rules 5.92(f)(1), 5.62(b).) 

Even if Respondent were to appear and waive notice and service, the Court would not entertain Petitioner’s request because the Respondent’s default was entered on July 31, 2023.  Consequently, Petitioner must submit a proposed judgment packet and may include the debt allegedly owed to Petitioner.  Once approved and entered, Petitioner may then proceed to enforce the final judgment, either by a new order request or by means of the Enforcement of Judgment Law (EJL), which is designed for the collection of money judgments.  (Fam. Code, § 290; Code Civ. Proc., § 699.010 et seq.)

Petitioner may wish to seek legal advice at her own expense, but may also contact the Court’s Self-Help Center for free assistance with legal forms and procedures.  Either way, Petitioner is encouraged to bring a copy of this Tentative Ruling for reference.

The following are the tentative ruling cases calendared before Judge David I. Hood in Department #25:


Petitioner’s Request for Order re Omitted Asset—DENIED, without prejudice.

According to Petitioner’s exhibits, Respondent passed away on September 4, 2018, which explains the absence of any proof of service.  Final judgment in this matter was entered on January 2, 2014.

Petitioner is correct that the Court retains jurisdiction over omitted community assets or debts that were not adjudicated by a prior judgment, whether the judgment expressly reserved jurisdiction or not.  (Fam. Code, § 2556; Marriage of Nassimi (2016) 3 Cal.App.5th 667, 692.)  Moreover, a party’s intervening death after entry of judgment terminating marital status does not oust the Court of jurisdiction to determine expressly reserved issues or those reserved by law, such as section 2556.  (Fam. Code, § 2337(f).)  However, in order to proceed, Petitioner must file a motion to substitute the decedent spouse’s estate as the real party in interest.  (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 377.31, 377.41; Marriage of Hilke (1992) 4 Cal.4th 215, 220.) 

Based on Petitioner’s other exhibits, it appears that StanCERA has placed the disputed funds into the pension’s reserve account and is refusing to distribute Petitioner’s alleged share until there is a determination under Probate Code section 5600 that it was Respondent’s intent to preserve the beneficiary designation notwithstanding the dissolution of marriage proceeding.  Hence, Petitioner may wish to seek legal advice at his own expense as to whether the proper forum for this matter is the Probate Division of the Superior Court instead of the Family Law Division.  Alternatively, the Court’s Self-Help Center offers free assistance with legal forms and procedures, but may not provide legal advice.


Petitioner’s Request for Order re Determination of Equalization Payment—HEARING REQUIRED.

According to the final Judgment on Reserved Issues entered on November 7, 2022, determination of the equalization payment was reserved until disposition of the marital residence and relevant community property values have been ascertained and/or adjudicated.  It does not appear that this has occurred, nor is it likely to occur by mutual agreement, unfortunately.  Given the number of factual disputes raised by the pleadings, this matter will require a long-cause evidentiary hearing.  Counsel shall therefore appear to establish a briefing schedule and to set the hearing

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