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Coronavirus/covid-19 COURT INFORMATION

family law

Q. ARE THE CLERK'S OFFICES OPEN TO THE PUBLIC?

A: The Clerk's Offices are open, but are not conducting in-person transactions at this time. Clerk's Office employees are available to assist by telephone, and are processing documents submitted by E-Filing or by U.S. Mail or Drop-Box (for self-represented parties only).

For questions regarding Family Law, you may call:

  • Santa Maria: 805-614-6414
  • Santa Barbara: 805-882-4520

 

Q. IS THE COURT HEARING FAMILY LAW MATTERS?

A: Family Law courtrooms in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara resumed hearing family law matters on May 26, 2020 by remote appearance, using Zoom video and audio conferencing. The family law courtrooms will continue to hear family law matters using Zoom video and audio conferencing only, until further notice.

Information regarding Zoom can be found here: https://www.sbcourts.org/gi/notices/Zoom_Instructions.pdf

All hearings/matters scheduled during the court closure (March 17 – May 23, 2020), have been rescheduled. Notices of the new court date were sent to the address the Court has on file. If you had a family law hearing scheduled during the court closure, and you have not received a notice either rescheduling or vacating the missed hearing, contact the Clerk's Office at the telephone numbers above.

Q. WHAT IF I HAVE A HEARING ON A TEMPORARY ORDER? WILL IT STAY IN EFFECT UNTIL MY COURT HEARING?

A: If there are temporary orders in place, those orders are continued until your new court date (for example, restraining orders, temporary custody orders, etc.).

Q. WHAT IF MY TIME TO FILE AN ANSWER OR RESPONSE FALLS WITHIN THE CLOSURE TIME PERIOD?

A: The Court issued an emergency order that extends the time limit for filing documents by considering all days between March 17, 2020 and May 23, 2020, as court holidays, which would not be counted for your deadline.

Q. ARE VISITATION AND CUSTODY ORDERS IN EFFECT DURING THE SHELTER-AT-HOME PERIOD?

A: The orders remain in place and are enforceable by law enforcement officers. The April 2020 guidelines included here may be helpful: FAMILY LAW COVID-19 GUIDELINES

This information from the California Courts Self-Help website may also be helpful:

The California and local "stay at home" COVID-19 orders may affect your custody and visitation orders
Generally, child custody and visitation (parenting time) orders must be followed. However, during this public health crisis, parents may find it difficult to follow the current orders. Also, parents may not be able to get new court orders right away because courts in some counties are closed or offer limited services.
If this is your situation, you and the other parent can:

  1. Learn about the "stay-at-home" orders to understand how they affect your family.
  2. Work together to make a temporary, written agreement to change the court order during the "stay-at-home" period, if needed.
  3. Learn what other legal options you may have if you can't come to an agreement.

Learn how "stay-at-home" orders may affect your family.
California's Governor issued "stay-at-home" orders in March 2020, to protect the public health of Californians and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The orders are not intended to stop parents from leaving their homes with the child or stop them from following the court order for parenting time. In fact, many "stay-at-home" orders allow people to leave home to provide care for children, elderly parents, or friends who need help. Also, some counties have specifically defined "essential travel" to include travel for custody arrangements and following court orders.

You and the other parent can read more about the "stay-at-home" orders and COVID-19 to better understand how they affect your family:

Communicate, work together to find alternatives
For cases not involving domestic violence or abuse of any kind, parents can talk to each other if they find that the current orders are difficult to follow. Because the health and safety of the child can be a major concern, parents should talk about whether the child custody and visitation orders can be followed safely given COVID-19 "stay-at-home" orders.

Important! If the child or anyone in the household is showing symptoms of COVID-19, or any signs of serious illness, parents should contact a doctor immediately and carefully follow any medical advice.

Parents should also consider whether:

If the answer is "yes" to any of the above concerns, parents are encouraged to work together and plan how to still safely continue contact with the child remotely through the use of technology, if in the child's best interest. For example, parents can consider using telephone visits or video conferencing applications like FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or other social media platforms instead of in-person parenting time.

For a child with less serious health issues during this time, parents can consider the following factors before deciding to make changes to the child's regular parenting time:

  • • the child's age and seriousness of the illness;
    • the distance between the 2 homes;
    • anything in your court order that already gives specific directions to be followed when a child is sick;
    • the responsibility and obligation of both parents to care for a sick child;
    • the child's feelings;
    • the ability of the parents to care for the sick child, including giving the child prescribed medications; and
    • meeting your children's basic needs for love, protection and guidance, a healthy diet, good medical care, and enough rest.


Read more information about:

  • • The needs of children of different ages.
    • Writing a parenting plan.

Q: IS THE OFFICE OF THE FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR OPEN TO HELP SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS WITH THEIR FAMILY LAW ISSUES?

A: The Family Law Facilitator is available for remote assistance. You may contact Family Court Services at: For cases filed in Santa Barbara: 805.882.4660 or email at SBFLF@sbcourts.org. Se habla español.For cases filed in Santa Maria: 805.614.6442. Se habla español.

Information is available here on how to establish or modify custody, visitation, support or file for divorce:

You may also obtain more information and assistance regarding completing legal paperwork, obtaining forms, and information at https://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp.htm.

Q: HOW DO I FILE A REQUEST FOR A RESTRAINING ORDER IF THE CLERK'S OFFICE IS CLOSED?

A: All attorneys are required to use electronic filing. Self-Represented parties are encouraged to use electronic filing. You may select an E-File service provider of your choice, many of whom are listed on our web site at http://www.odysseyefileca.com/service-providers.htm

Self-Represented parties only: For urgent or emergency documents that can only be filed in paper, you may mail your documents by U.S. mail to the proper courthouse location at the address listed on the Court website, www.sbcourts.org, or via the drop boxes located in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara and Lompoc.

The Self-Help tab on our web site contains links to online assistance in completing legal forms. There you will find Odyssey Guide & File interviews for common family law forms, including Restraining Orders. https://california.tylerhost.net/SRL/SRL/Start?legalProcessKey=Restraining_Order_Triage

Q. HOW DO I FILE FAMILY LAW DOCUMENTS IF THE CLERK'S OFFICE IS CLOSED?

A: All attorneys are required to E-file. Self-Represented parties are encouraged to E-file. Electronic filing is available at www.sbcourts.org.

Self-Represented parties only: For urgent or emergency documents that can only be filed in paper, you may mail your documents by U.S. mail to the proper courthouse location at the address listed on the Court website, www.sbcourts.org, or via the drop boxes located in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara and Lompoc.

Q: HOW DO I FILE LEGAL DOCUMENTS IF I HAVE NO ACCESS TO ELECTRONIC FILING?

A: All attorneys are required to use electronic filing.

Self-Represented parties only: If it is impossible for Self-Represented parties to file documents electronically, you may mail your documents by U.S. mail to the proper courthouse location at the address listed on the Court website https://www.sbcourts.org/gi/loc/index.shtm.

You may also use the drop boxes located in Santa Maria at the front of the Civil Clerk's Office, in Santa Barbara during business hours at the Figueroa Division, 118 E. Figueroa St; and in Lompoc at the entrance for Superior Court.

You may file by FAX:

  • Santa Barbara: 805.882.4519
    Santa Maria: 805.614.6616

Q: HOW DO I SCHEDULE MEDIATION FOR CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION IF ORDERED BY THE COURT?

A: Family Court Services continues to offer remote mediation appointments. Appointments can be requested by contacting Family Court Services at these telephone numbers:

  • • Santa Barbara: (805) 882-4660
    • Santa Maria: (805) 614-6442

Q: HOW DO I REQUEST AN EMERGENCY EX PARTE HEARING?

A: Please refer to local rules regarding ex parte requests: 1405, 1406, 1407, 1408, and 1410. https://www.sbcourts.org/ff/local-rules.shtm#1405



COURT LOCATIONS:

SANTA BARBARA:

CIVIL CASES
1100 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93121-1107 
(805) 882-4520

CRIMINAL/TRAFFIC CASES
118 E. Figueroa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 568-3959

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SANTA MARIA:

CIVIL CASES
312-C East Cook Street
Bldg. E
Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 614-6414

CRIMINAL/TRAFFIC CASES
312-M East Cook Street
Bldg. E
Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 346-7550

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LOMPOC:

115 Civic Center Plaza
Lompoc, CA 93436-6967 
CRIMINAL/TRAFFIC: (805) 737-7789
CIVIL : (805) 737-5452

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SOLVANG:

1745 Mission Drive, Suite C
Solvang, CA 93463-3605 
(805) 686-5040
* Effective 10/14/14 all matters previously filed at the Solvang Division will be filed at the Lompoc Division.

MORE SOLVANG COURT INFO»

 
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