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Continuance of trial date in dissolution (divorce) case in California

An ex-parte application for a continuance of the trial date in a dissolution (divorce) case in California is the topic of this blog post. Continuances of a trial date in California are disfavored, however in certain cases they may be granted if good cause is shown by the moving party.

Any request for a continuance can be made by noticed motion or by ex-parte application. If the trial date is fast approaching it is better practice to file an ex-parte application for a continuance of the trial date.

Continuances of trial for divorces and other family law matters in California are governed by California Rule of Court 3.1332 and Family Code section 210.

A request for continuance of a trial date may made in a California divorce or other family law case pursuant to Family Code § 210 which states that, “Except to the extent that any other statute or rules adopted by the Judicial Council provide applicable rules, the rules of practice and procedure applicable to civil actions generally, including the provisions of Title 3a (commencing with Section 391) of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, apply to, and constitute the rules of practice and procedure in, proceedings under this code.”

Any request for a continuance should be filed as soon as “reasonably practical” after the justification for the continuance is discovered. California Rule of Court 3.1332(b). Contacting the opposing party or their counsel and detailing the need for the continuance in an attempt to obtain their agreement to stipulate to a continuance is a good idea as some Judges will consider whether or not the moving party attempted to obtain a stipulation before filing any request with the court.

Although trial continuances may be disfavored, each case must be considered on its own merits pursuant to California Rule of Court 3.1332(c) which states in pertinent part that:

The following circumstances may indicate the presence of good cause warranting a continuance:

unavailability of essential lay or expert witness because of death, illness or other excusable circumstances, California Rule of Court 3.1332(c)(1);

unavailability of a party because of death, illness or other excusable circumstances, California Rule of Court 3.1332(c)(2);

unavailability of trial counsel because of death, illness or other excusable circumstances, California Rule of Court 3.1332(c)(3);

substitution of trial counsel where there is an affirmative showing that the substitution is required in the interests of justice, California Rule of Court 3.1332(c)(4);

addition of a new party if the new party has not had a reasonable opportunity to conduct discovery or the other parties have not had an adequate opportunity to prepare for trial in regard to the new party, California Rule of Court 3.1332(c)(5)(A),(B);

a party’s inability to obtain essential testimony, documents or other material evidence despite diligent efforts, California Rule of Court 3.1332(c)(6), or

a significant unanticipated change in the status of the case as a result of which the case is not ready for trial. California Rule of Court 3.1332(c)(7).

The most common reasons for requesting a continuance in a California eviction case would most likely be the serious illness of a party or material witness, or the inability to obtain essential testimony, documents or other material evidence.

Trial courts have great discretion in ruling on any request for a continuance but must also consider whether denying a request for a continuance will deny the moving party a fair hearing.

Attorneys or parties in California who would like to view a portion of a sample 13 page ex-parte application for a continuance of the trial date in California containing brief instructions, a memorandum of points and authorities, sample declaration, sample declaration of ex-parte notice and proposed order sold by the author can see below.

Attorneys or parties in California that would like more information on a California divorce litigation document package containing over 45 sample documents including a sample ex-parte application for continuance of a trial date can use the link shown below.

California divorce litigation document package

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation.

You can view portions of over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation at http://www.scribd.com/LegalDocsPro/documents

*Do you want to use this article on your website, blog or e-zine? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it: “Stan Burman is the author of over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation and is the author of a free weekly legal newsletter. You can receive 10 free gifts just for subscribing. Just visit http://freeweeklylegalnewsletter.gr8.com/ for more information.”

Follow the author on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LegalDocsPro

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

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