Santa Clara County Family Court changes

carlson mediaionThe court system has become entrenched  in  a bog of overworked judges, clerks and employees. This is due to budget cutbacks.  The cut backs effect everyone using the court system, especially the public.

  • The office for filing of documents has cut back on service hours; the Sunnyvale family court clerk and the downtown San Jose family court clerk close at 3:00 pm.  The Santa Clara County Family clerk Probate clerk will not pick up phones after 3:00 pm.
  • It takes months for certain family law documents to be approved and filed.
  • The court has eliminated court “calendars” that helped the court speed cases through the court system: “Fast track”. One such calendar was the Case Management Conference.    They were automatically set for a date several months after the filing of a new family law matter.
  • Effective in August, 2016 family court matters set by an attorney must be filed electronically.  This entails hiring an e-file vendor, which accepts documents online and then logs the document into the court filing system.  The vendor charges a service fee for each document filed, beginning at $1.00 per document up to $9.95, depending on the vendor.  The vendor charges one’s credit card for the filing fee and the document fee.   All vendors charge an additional bank fee of approximately 2.5% to 3%.  The e-file requirement does not apply to those litigants who do not have an attorney, a status known as propia persona, pro-per, for short.  Thus, they can file the documents with the court clerk in person, or by U.S. mail.

Author: Vivian Carlson

Lawyer and Mediator Vivian C. Carlson represents clients in Santa Clara County, San Mateo County and Alameda County in divorce, custody, and estate matters. She advocates early dispute resolution of family law matters through mediation. Read her article on Mediation.