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.