NOTES & RESOURCES
- Go directly to the California Rules of Court for family law.
How to Find California Rules of the Court
Hi, thank you for using My Court Coach. I’m Jylan, and I’m going to be your instructor as we talk about how and why we use the local and California Rules of Court.
In order for us to use the court rules, we would first need to log on to courts.ca.gov/rules. When you do that, it’s going to prompt you straight to this page.
The first thing that we want to look at is whether these rules are current and it is. Sometimes these rules change throughout the year. So you want to always go back to this page to ensure that you are following the most up to date rules.
Title five has all of the court rules that we can use for family law cases. It also has the juvenile rules in here too, but that’s not something that you need to worry about.
So we don’t have time to go through every single California rule of Court, but we will just go over some examples.
Why You Need the California Rules of Court
So how serious is it for us to use the California rules of court? There’s a whole section in 5.14 that says “sanctions for violations of rules of court and family law cases.” This just shows that this is necessary in any family law proceeding for you to follow the statewide court rules.
The Court Can Sanction You for Not Following the Rules
If you don’t follow the California rules, then the court can go ahead and sanction you. What does sanctions mean? The Rule of Court defines it as a monetary fine or penalty ordered by the court.
And then it also tells you who these sanctions can also be issued against: you, your attorney, some witness, or a law firm, or any individual that’s essentially associated with the case.
One Way to Defend Against a Sanction for a Violation of a Rule
A court order awarding sanctions must be in writing and must recite in detail the conduct or circumstances justifying the order. If the court did not follow those requirements, then you need to cite this in court to try to fight the sanction.
This particular California Rule of Court shows you the notice and procedure and how to go about asking for that an award of sanctions.
Examples of Various California Rules of Court
The California Rules of Court assist you in conducting yourself in court. There are California Rules of Court related to:
- filing fees
- proof of service
- formatting of paperwork
- getting permission to give live testimony in court
Local Rules of Court
Not only are there California rules, which are used statewide, but we also have local rules that apply for individual counties. The difference between the California Rules of Court and the local Rules of Court is that the local rules is specific to your county.
Maybe your local rules has a specific way as to how to file those sanctions or what terminology or what forms are needed to be used in order for you to file for those sanctions.
Or it could just be an additional relief requested, allowing you to cite both the state and local rules of court.
The local rules can specify or make things a little bit more specific and give you more guidance for you that’s needed in your particular courthouse.
Remember that the judge will expect you to follow these standards, since you are essentially being an attorney representing yourself.