Judge Pro Tem Divorce Attorneys at SCBA Family Law Section Beneficiaries of New Self-Help Legislation
Sunday Satire by RoadDog
Newly enacted Family Code § 3050 authorizes self-help remedies in Sacramento Family Court
cases meeting a specific criteria.
In addition, the parties to the case must consist of an unrepresented, indigent or financially disadvantaged litigant against an opposing party represented by a member of the Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Section who also serves as a judge pro tem in the same court, or works at a law firm with a judge pro tem. The criteria also requires issuance of a "no contact" child custody order prohibiting the unrepresented litigant from all contact with the child or children of the parties.
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Finally, the order must be inadequate and constructively unappealable due to the absence of facts, law or evidence justifying the ruling. If the criteria is met, self-help remedies are authorized under the new law, signed last week by Governor Brown and chaptered at Family Code § 3050. The legislation was proposed and enacted after an audit of Sacramento County Family Court cases revealed that SCBA Family Law Section divorce attorneys who also serve a temporary judges in the same court obtain for their clients favorable child custody rulings at a statistically impossible rate.
Coincidentally, the audit also revealed that family court judges routinely issue unlawful, impossible to appeal "no contact" child custody orders in the same cases.The orders were found to be issued for the purpose of providing judge pro tem divorce lawyers with a litigation advantage and fee churning opportunity, or to punish unrepresented litigants who asserted their statutory or constitutional rights. The audit showed that the no contact orders had no connection to the best interests of the child, the only lawful ground for the rulings, which are virtually unheard of in other jurisdictions. The new law is intended to level the playing field in cases meeting the statutory criteria, according to a legislative analysis of the bill.
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