[NOTE: This article is the second in a series of articles about proposed legislation and court rules resulting from the Elkins Task Force study. Judge Mark Juhas, the Keynote Speaker at the October 14-16 CALDA Conference, will be discussing these changes.]
Dear CALDA Members,
Here is an update on new requirements regarding the length and format of supporting declarations which accompany family law motions, and a new rule on service of process of post judgment motions.
CALIFORNIA RULE OF COURT 5.118 - Declarations Supporting Applications for Orders:
Length of Declaration: Under the proposed amendment, beginning 1/1/12 a supporting declaration will have a 10 PAGE LIMIT. A Reply declaration shall have a 5 PAGE LIMIT. The exception to the Rule shall include expert witnesses or upon permission of the court.
(CALDA's Education Committee Chair, Vanessa Watson, is in the process of creating a TELECLASS entitled "Guidelines to a Winning Declaration: A Writing Course." Keep your eyes out for more information from Vanessa and register for this class! Learn how to help your clients get their point across in fewer words, as soon it will be law.)
Objections: A declaration must be based on personal knowledge, explain how the person acquired that knowledge, and all statements must be admissible evidence. A party must object to the declaration at the time of hearing, otherwise any objection will be deemed waived. If the court does not specifically rule on the objection, it is presumed overruled.
(Beginning 2012, hand your clients a copy of this Court Rule before they go to their hearing, and check your local rules as well. An informed self-represented litigant is an empowered litigant, and ultimately lightens the burden on the courts.)
FAMILY CODE §215 - Service of Post Judgment Motions
Beginning 1/1/12, a proof of service of a post judgment motion to modify custody, visitation or child support must include an "address verification" (proposed FL-334). This form is a Declaration Re: Address Verification" and requires the declarant to explain the circumstances under which they confirm the other party's address, or state the reasons for use of the "last known address", etc. This form will be attached to a Proof of Service by Mail (FL-335) and will be revised to reflect this. [San Diego County currently uses a similar form under their local court rules.]
There's more, watch for the next newsletter. You won't want to miss this conference!
Connie Crockett, LDA
CALDA Conference Chair