Stay at home orders have been in effect for what feels like forever and with the possibility of things opening up in the very near future, people are understandably anxious to get back to “normal” for their family law cases to be heard and move forward. However, all indications are that things will not immediately go back to the way they were and that the reopening of the state and the courts will be gradual.
So what does this mean for courthouses and your family law case?
No one is completely sure about when the courthouses plan to resume “normal” operations. It is important to manage your expectations about when and how your case will be heard. Chances are, if you already had a hearing scheduled prior to the courthouse closures, it has been continued. This may continue to happen and it is expected that the courts will have a lengthly backlog of cases that still need to be heard. Current estimates are that cases could see a delay of up to six months, but again, no one is completely sure since th information is constantly changing. The expectation is that the cases the court deems to be the most urgent will be heard first and then the remainder will be heard after.
The courts may also not look or function like they used to before coronavirus. Social distancing will most likely still be enforced, courthouses may be restricted to essential people only, and more cases and mediations may be heard or conducted by phone or virtually over platforms such as Zoom.
What if you want to file for Divorce right now?
Los Angeles Family Law Attorney Evan Braunstein is here to help you with all of your family law needs, including divorces during the coronavirus pandemic. If you have already made the decision to file for divorce, there is no reason to delay filing your petition. Deciding to file for divorce is a big step and we are here to assist you with everything that entails. This will help ensure that you are properly prepared and able to move forward once the courts reopen.
We are open and ready to assist you
The Law Offices of Evan Braunstein are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, even during the coronavirus pandemic. Our work here is essential and we remain open and committed to assisting our clients with their family law needs.
It’s no surprise that over the last couple weeks, the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has affected almost every part of our daily lives and this includes the courts and a lot of court cases. So what does this mean for you and your case or any case you are thinking about filing?
The Law Offices of Evan Braunstein knows this can be a confusing and maybe even frustrating time but we are here and ready to help you. Here is a breakdown of what is happening in the Los Angeles and Orange County courts. Keep in mind, that this information is subject to change and so you should always check the appropriate court website and/or call us to speak with an attorney.
From March 20th to June 22, 2020, all Los Angeles County courtrooms will be closed except for certain essential functions including but not limited to, domestic violence temporary restraining orders, family law ex parte proceedings, restraining order hearings, and hague international kidnapping proceedings. Additionally, only authorized parties including but not limited to, Judges, Commissioners, Court Staff, Attorneys, Parties, and Witnesses will be allowed into the courthouse. You can however, file documents but as of March 23, 2020, the clerks office is closed to the public and all filings are being submitted via a drop box.
This means that if your hearing was scheduled between March 20th and June 22, 2020, your case has probably been continued. The court will send out a notice of continuance which you will receive in the mail. We know this can be frustrating, especially when planning for time off from work but this is a safety measure that was not taken lightly. If you are looking to file a new case, you can do so by submitting the filings to the drop box. Be sure to visit the Los Angeles County Court website for up to date information.
From March 17th to June 1, 2020, the Orange County Family Law Courtrooms will be closed. For domestic violence cases with a pending hearing before April 6th, the hearing and temporary restraining orders are being automatically extended for good cause. The only electronic filings being accepted by the Family Law court are for domestic violence restraining orders and emergency child custody requests that involve an imminent threat of injury or death to a child.
This means that if your hearing was scheduled between March 17th and June 1, 2020, your case has probably been continued. If you are looking to file a new case or any additional paperwork in your case, you will not be able to do so until at least June 1, 2020. Be sure to visit the Orange County Court website for up to date information.
The Law Offices of Evan Braunstein will remain open for normal business hours during the Coronavirus pandemic. Our work is essential and we will be here to answer your calls and emails and to help you with your family law needs including but not limited to domestic violence restraining orders, ex parte applications, and divorces.