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Status and Case Management Conference

In San Diego, California, the Superior Court of California has local rules relating to the status and case management conferences. The family law court houses for divorce, legal separation, paternity and annulment are located in downtown San Diego, Vista, Chula Vista and El Cajon. As family law is now included in the “fast track” procedures to try and have cases resolved more quickly, these conferences are set by the Court themselves and not by either husband or wife. The Notice of Hearing is sent by the Court on Superior Court Form D 131 by the Clerk of the Superior Court of the County of San Diego.

The difference between the Status Conference and Case Management Conference is whether the parties are self represented or have an attorney. If neither party has an attorney representing them, then the Court will set a Status Conference. If either party is represented by an attorney, then the Court will set a Case Management Conference. In either event, the purpose is to discuss the deadlines and time table for the resolution of the pending divorce, legal separation, paternity or annulment and for the Court to be appraised of the procedural and substantive issues which will need to be addressed in order to accomplish this. Attendance at this conference is mandatory for the self represented in San Diego County.

The issues at the status conference will be for the dissolution, legal separation, annulment or paternity which was filed in that court house. Most often, the issues involve custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, real estate, personal property, division of assets and division of debts including retirement accounts, business interests and many more.

The time line for the setting of the conference, whether status or case management, is the earlier of 90 days after the filing of the response or 150 days after the filing of the petition. If the parties have filed with the Court an executed Alternative Dispute Resolution, a judgment, a dismissal or a reconciliation stipulation.

Attendance at this conference is mandatory however attorneys may appear for their clients. Self represented parties must personally appear. If there is a non appearance, the Court has several options including determining that the case has been abandoned and dismissing it without prejudice so that a re filing is possible. If a case was dismissed in this manner, then a motion can be made to request reinstatement upon a showing of good cause as long as this is within the six months [180 days] of the date of the dismissal. After the date of dismissal is more than six months, then a new petition {with a new filing fee} must be filed. It is crucial to make sure your address is current with the court whether you are an attorney or self represented since the Court notices hearings by mail to the address in the court file. If you have any questions about the address in your court file, you can go to the court house in which your case is filed and ask to see the file.

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