As many of our clients are aware, due to Governor Gavin Newsom’s March 16, 2020, “Shelter-at-Home” Order (with the exception of those employed for “Essential Business”), the San Diego County Courts closed effective March 17, 2020. Our Courts are now expected to reopen on May 26, 2020, but this date is subject to change. Meanwhile, all Court hearings set during these dates (March 17th through May 26th) will be rescheduled, but we will not receive notice of the new dates until the Court re-opens. Upon receipt from the Court of any new hearing dates in your case, we will let you know immediately. With respect to deadlines for filing and service of court papers, they continue to be extended by each business day the Court is closed.
The Court’s re-opening will likely depend on when Governor Newsom removes the Shelter at Home Executive Order. The re-opening will be a soft opening, likely beginning with video hearings using Microsoft Teams. Trials scheduled when the court opens will be heard as directed by the individual Judicial Officer assigned to the case. Many cases may be moved to new dates because domestic violence and custody cases will have priority over property and support cases. When we learn of any new dates in your case, we will let you know.
There is good news, however, about support modifications, which in summary means we can serve a motion to modify support even if it has not yet been filed with the court. Any modification of support can be retroactive to the date the motion is served. Thus, if you have experienced a change of income and need to change your support order, please contact me immediately.
Our Family Courts remain open only for emergency temporary restraining orders and child custody orders only. There remain only one Family Law Judicial Officer at each of our four branches—Vista, San Diego, El Cajon, and Chula Vista. We will keep you informed of any new information we learn.
I consider my service to you as an Officer of the Court to be “essential” within the meaning not only of Governor Newsom, but within the meaning of you and your family.We will remain open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I am fortunate to run a small office committed to personally serving my clients. As you are aware, I have only one assistant, Dalinah, and one part-time paralegal, Sandy. Inside our office, we are lucky to be able to practice social distancing and sanitizing on a regular basis. For the safety of our families, our clients, and ourselves, we cannot see anyone in person. My office door will remain locked, but we are available by phone, video, and email. My answering service remain on during non-business hours, as well as hours when Dalinah is not available to answer the phone, and we will continue to receive your messages as soon as they are taken. I am also available by email. Please email both Dalinah at firstname.lastname@example.org and myself at email@example.com to ensure your email is delivered in at timely manner.
If you have any questions, or require discussion, please do not hesitate to contact us.
With best personal regards,
Heidi & Staff