I have been reading up on tentative rulings from Santa Clara County Superior Court. Their website states that I must notify the court and opposing party that I am contesting the ruling. Do I simply call them and let them know? What if the message "gets lost" and they say I didn't inform them I was contesting?
Yes you do have to notify opposing counsel if you wish oral argument on a tentative ruling. When you call them, get the person's name tat you informed and show up to court. That is all that is required of you.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Yes. If you are concerned why don’t you put it on speaker phone and have witnesses who hear you give the notification and then they could sign declarations under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that they heard you give opposing counsel notification of your opposition at such and such a time.
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Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
you need to properly notify the court and opposing counsel in a timely fashion in order to contest a tenative ruling. You really should hire a lawyer to protect your rights. Good luck.