Many of my clients, as well as unrepresented parties throughout San Diego County, are feeling hopeless at the mercy of when the government decides to allow them to exercise their rights in court. The hearing dates of tens of thousands of family law litigants throughout the county have been taken off calendar, and we do not expect to have new dates for their matters until the courts reopen. Further, we do not know how the San Diego Superior Court will be hearing our cases, whether it is with masks and social distancing, electronic filings, video appearances, telephonic appearances, and/or something else entirely.
We do know that restraining orders and child custody and visitation cases will take priority over support, money, and property cases. We also know some cases will be heard by video through Microsoft Teams, and the San Diego Superior Court is working on a way to allow us to file papers electronically. I am already prepared to make appearances via video conferencing. My staff and I are also organized and prepared to send your filings in electronically as soon as we are permitted to do so.
I am receiving immediate notices from the San Diego Superior Court as to the ever-changing reopening dates and court procedures. I am also obtaining and seeking current information through our San Diego Family Law Bar Association and my professional contacts. When I learn credible, verified, information, I will pass it along to you as quickly as I can.
On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, I will be attending an online State of the San Diego Superior Court Address by Presiding Judge Lorne A. Alskne, Assistant Presiding Judge Michael T. Smyth, and Court Executive Officer Michael Roddy. Our local family law bar members are submitting questions in advance, with the hope that we will learn answers to the critical issues facing our clients. After the Address, I will publish another announcement with any further information I learn.
Meanwhile, my office door will remain locked, but I am available to answer your questions and discuss your concerns by phone, video, and email. My answering service remains on during non-business hours, and we will continue to receive your messages from the answering service as soon as they are taken. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. To ensure prompt delivery, please copy my assistant Dalinah at email@example.com.
With best personal regards,
Heidi & Staff