California family lawyers have been concerned about support modifications because the Family Code provides that modifications can only be retroactive to the date of filing the motion. But people have not been able to file their requests to modify, because of the partial court closures. On April 20, 2020, the California Judicial Council issued the 13th Emergency Rule Related to Covid-19. That rule says,
Except as provided in Family Code section 3653(b), an order modifying or terminating a support order may be made effective as of the date the request and supporting papers are mailed or otherwise served on the other party, or other party’s attorney when permitted. Nothing in this rule restricts the court’s discretion to order a later effective date.
Rule 13 also prescribes procedures to be followed. This rule will remain in effect until 90 days after the Governor declares that the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted, or until amended or repealed by the Judicial Council. See the emergency rules here.
On April 17, 2020, the Sacramento County Superior Court issued a notice of Implementation of Court Closure Mitigation Plan for April 17, 2020 through May 15, 2020 Family Law Proceedings. A link to the document is https://www.saccourt.ca.gov/general/docs/extended-court-closure-mitigation-plan-fl-dv-ex-partes-041720.pdf. It sets forth the procedures the Sacramento Family Law Courts will be following through May 15, 2020.
On April 6, 2020, in response to the Corona virus (Covid-19) emergency, the California Judicial Council issued temporary emergency rules of court 1 through 11. On April 17, 2020, the judicial council adopted temporary emergency rule 12. A link to the court’s emergency rules is https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/appendix-i.pdf.
The first 11 rules deal with 1) unlawful detainers, 2) judicial foreclosures, 3) use of technology for remote appearances, 4) emergency bail schedule, 5) personal appearance waivers during health emergency, 6) and 7) emergency orders: juvenile dependency proceedings, 8) emergency orders: temporary restraining or protective orders, 9) tolling of statutes of limitations for civil causes of action, 10) extensions of time in which to bring a civil action to trial, and 11) depositions through electronic means. Rule 12 deals with electronic service in place of service by mail.
The rules are detailed, and you should read them carefully.
Last night the Presiding Judge of the Sacramento County, California, Superior Court issued an order extending its judicially declared holidays “for all purposes, except for the limited emergency matters enumerated in the court’s Temporary Court Closure Order issued March 19, 2020, and all subsequent amendments thereto.” The link to the court’s website with the order is here.