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Supplemental Declaration Details in Custody Cases

Tustin, CA |

I have an OSC hearing for Joint Custody and a dispute over School Districts in less than one week. When I originally filed the OSC, I was uneducated and rushed, my intent was that the OSC was going to be a quick and temporary fix almost like an Ex Parte filing. After I came to understand the more permanent nature of the orders, I drafted what I consider to be an extremely solid Supplemental Declaration in support of my requests. Problem is, I will be filing it tomorrow which only gives 2 court days (plus weekend) notice before our hearing. I've read that for these Supplementals it can be filed 5 days out, 3 days out, or even the day of the hearing (by the self help desk clerks). I am afraid counsel will auto-object to my filing that has extremely strong facts enclosed. What can I expect?

Additional notes: If objected to, this will be coming from a party who has shown disregard for the judicial process at every step of procedure. They ignored documentation requests from Child Support Services. They never filed any response whatsoever to the OSC. They have thus far failed to respond whatsoever to my discovery requests (48hrs pending). I also believe they intend to request a continuance at the hearing (for reasons I cannot possibly fathom and will be very interested to hear). Will this pattern of abuse weigh in my favor? I have responded timely thus far to all requests. I read about the loosness and lattidute afforded in Family Law which is then amplified when including pro pers. However they are represented and I am not. What might I want argue before the judge to have my Decclaration accepted and acted upon that morning? Thanks.

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Attorney answers 2


I am not familiar with the local rules in Tustin. Each Court, and each Department within each Court can vary slightly in how and when it will accept documents. Because of this, I cannot speak to exactly how the Court may deal with your timing issues.

I can, however, tell you that as a general rule it's a good idea to bring multiple copies (one for the Judge, one for opposing counsel, and one for yourself). Just in case the documents are rejected as filed and served (or if not properly served) on the other side, the Court may allow improper or untimely documents to be considered at the OSC anyway, if everybody has one.

If the Court will not allow a declaration to be considered because it's not timely or proper, you may still discuss the issues verbally with the Court at the hearing. In that case, it might be helpful to make yourself a brief bullet-point outline of topics you want to remeber to present to the Court for consideration. This may help you not to forget the important stuff while in the (sometimes stressful) courtroom.

A final tip: "Your Honor" is how the Court is addressed. In Pro Per parties sometimes forget this.

Best of luck.

This communication does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. This communication is intended for general informational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon, and is not intended as legal advice. Furthermore, the general information provided may not apply to different or more elaborate facts.



Thank you Britney. Your answer conforms exactly to my understanding of things. And of course, I would never forget to properly address the Judge!


There is nothing you can do at this point other than to hope the judge received the declaration (sometimes it takes a few days for the paperwork to reach the judge- this is more common in busy downtown LA, OC it probably got up there) and explain to the judge, if the issue comes up, as to why it was late. Most of the time, they will consider the arguments raised in the late filing.

Maryam Atighechi is a family law, real estate and civil litigation attorney in Sherman Oaks, CA. 818-647-1152. Please be advised that although Ms. Atighechi is an attorney, the comments posted does not constitute legal advice. You should not rely on any advice or suggestions written and seek outside, independent counsel. An attorney-client relationship has not formed by reading the post.

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