ELKINS FAMILY LAW TASK FORCE

September 15, 2008 at 5:58 am (Uncategorized)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FACT SHEET

 

August 2008

The Elkins Family Law Task Force, chaired by Associate Justice Laurie D. Zelon of the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (Los Angeles), was appointed in May 2008 to conduct a comprehensive review of family law proceedings and recommend to the Judicial Council of California proposals that will increase access to justice, ensure due process, and provide for more effective and consistent rules, policies, and procedures.

Committed to Equal Justice and a Collaborative Process

The Elkins Family Law Task Force was appointed in response to an August 2007 California Supreme Court opinion,

 

 

Elkins v. Superior Court (2007) 41 Cal.4th 1337, which held that marital dissolution trials should “proceed under the same general rules of procedure that govern other civil trials” (id.

at p. 1345). The charge of the task force is to propose measures to improve efficiency and fairness in family law proceedings and ensure access to justice for all family law litigants.

Family law cases are critically important to litigants, children, and families, as well as the community at large. The increasing demands on courts dealing with family law cases include complex legal issues, the high volume of cases, and staggering numbers of self-represented litigants—in many communities, over 75 percent of family law cases have at least one self-represented party.

At its initial meeting in June 2008, the task force defined values that will guide its work and recommendations:

  1. Ensuring justice, fairness, and due process in family law;
  2. Ensuring meaningful access for all litigants;
  3. Using innovative techniques to promote effectiveness and efficiency;
  4. Improving the status of, and respect for, family law litigants and the family law process; and
  5. Securing adequate resources, including existing, reallocated, and new resources.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE COURTS

455 Golden Gate Avenue

San Francisco, CA

94102-3688

Tel 415-865-4200

TDD 415-865-4272

Fax 415-865-4205

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov

 

 

Elkins Family Law Task Force

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The task force will seek input from all stakeholders, including litigants, attorneys, judicial officers, and court staff.

Diverse Membership With Extensive Expertise

The 38-member task force includes appellate court justices, judges, court commissioners, private attorneys, legal aid attorneys, family law facilitators, self-help center attorneys, court executives, family court managers, court administrators, and legislative staff. Members have extensive experience in all aspects of family law and represent courts and diverse cultural and economic communities from throughout the state. A roster of members is included at pages 4–6.

The Elkins Family Law Task Force will complete its work over the next two years. Four initial working groups will focus on:

  1. Research and best practices
  2. Representation
  3. Process improvements
  4. Improving the status of, and respect for, family law litigants and family law

Input Sought Through Several Channels

The task force will be seeking input in a variety of ways, including:

  1. Focus groups conducted across the state;
  2. Research on best or promising practices both within and outside of California;
  3. Panel presentations from task force members and other experts about different aspects of the court process;
  4. Public hearings;
  5. A survey of bar members;
  6. Public comment, solicited via the Web, e-mail, and regular mail; and
  7. Circulation of draft recommendations for consideration by the public and the courts.

The Elkins Family Law Task Force welcomes written comments and specific suggestions from interested stakeholders. Please e-mail: elkinstaskforce@jud.ca.gov.

 

 

Elkins Family Law Task Force

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Patricia Rivera, Administrative Coordinator, Center for Families, Children & the Courts patricia.rivera@jud.ca.gov

Additional resources:

General court information, http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/reference/4_12courtssupct.htm;

Supreme Court, http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/

 

 

Elkins Family Law Task Force

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Roster of the Elkins Family Law Task Force

Chair

Hon. Laurie D. Zelon

Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal,

Second Appellate District, Division Seven

Members

Ms. Tülin D. Açikalin

Managing Attorney

Bay Area Legal Aid

Hon. Sue Alexander

Commissioner of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda

Hon. Lorna A. Alksne

Judge of the Superior Court of California,

County of San Diego

Hon. Irma Poole Asberry

Judge of the Superior Court of California,

County of Riverside

Ms. Kathy Bañuelos

Counsel

California Senate Judiciary Committee

Mr. Richard Barry

Attorney at Law

San Rafael

Hon. Louise Bayles-Fightmaster

Commissioner of the Superior Court of California, County of Sonoma

Hon. Jerilyn L. Borack

Judge of the Superior Court of California,

County of Sacramento

Ms. Linda D. Daeley

Family Law Manager

Superior Court of California,

County of Orange

Ms. Julie C. Dodge

Family Law Facilitator

Self-Help Center Attorney

Superior Court of California,

County of Stanislaus

Ms. Patricia Foster

Director, Family Court and Special Services

Superior Court of California,

County of Tulare

Ms. Ana María García

Supervising Attorney

Neighborhood Legal Services of

Los Angeles County

Hon. Michael J. Gassner

Commissioner of the Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino

Hon. Barry P. Goode

Judge of the Superior Court of California,

County of Contra Costa

Mr. José Octavio Guillén

Executive Officer

Superior Court of California,

County of Imperial

Mr. Vahan Hovsepian

Director, Family and Children Services

Superior Court of California,

County of Butte

Hon. Joan K. Irion

Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal,

Fourth Appellate District, Division One

Hon. Irwin H. Joseph

Commissioner of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Cruz

Hon. Mark A. Juhas

Judge of the Superior Court of California,

County of Los Angeles

Mr. Lawrence E. Leone

Attorney at Law

Los Angeles

Mr. Drew Liebert

Chief Counsel

California Assembly Judiciary Committee

 

 

Elkins Family Law Task Force

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Ms. Margaret Little, Ph.D.

Senior Administrator

Family Law and Probate

Superior Court of California,

County of Los Angeles

Ms. Judy B. Louie

Director, ACCESS Center

Superior Court of California,

County of San Francisco

Hon. Patricia M. Lucas

Judge of the Superior Court of California,

County of Santa Clara

Mr. Mark E. Minyard

Attorney at Law

Newport Beach

Ms. Suzanne Clark Morlock

Family Law Facilitator

and Self-Help Center Director

Superior Court of California,

County of Tuolumne

Ms. Sandra Joan Morris

Attorney at Law

San Diego

Ms. Lorie S. Nachlis

Attorney at Law

San Francisco

Hon. Kimberly J. Nystrom-Geist

Judge of the Superior Court of California,

County of Fresno

Ms. Rebecca L. Prater

Staff Attorney

Office of the Family Law Facilitator

Superior Court of California,

County of San Diego

Hon. Vance W. Raye

Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal,

Third Appellate District

Mr. Stephen B. Ruben

Attorney at Law

San Francisco

Ms. Caron Caines Smith

Family Law Case Coordinator Attorney

Superior Court of California,

County of Ventura

Hon. Nancy Wieben Stock

Presiding Judge of the

Superior Court of California,

County of Orange

Mr. Hugh K. Swift

Executive Officer

Superior Court of California,

County of Amador

Hon. B. Scott Thomsen

Commissioner of the Superior Court of California, Counties of Nevada and Sierra

Mr. Peter M. Walzer

Attorney at Law

Woodland Hills

State Bar Liaison

Ms. Sharon Ngim

Program Developer and Staff Liaison, Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services The State Bar of California Office of Legal Services, Access & Fairness Programs

AOC Lead Staff

Ms. Diane Nunn

Director

Center for Families, Children & the Courts

Administrative Office of the Courts

AOC Staff to the Task Force

Ms. Bonnie Rose Hough

Managing Attorney

Center for Families, Children & the Courts

Administrative Office of the Courts

Ms. Katie Howard

Special Consultant

Center for Families, Children & the Courts

Administrative Office of the Courts

Ms. Patricia Rivera

Administrative Coordinator

Center for Families, Children & the Courts

Administrative Office of the Courts

 

 

Elkins Family Law Task Force

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Ms. Julia Weber

Supervising Attorney

Center for Families, Children & the Courts

Administrative Office of the Courts

Contacts:

Elkins Family Law Task Force

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The next chapter!

September 4, 2008 at 8:17 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Well, it’s all crazy now. I just found out through an old friend of my girlfriends that my ex wife is 4 months pregnant. We just found out that she had a new boyfriend last month when my daughter posted a bulletin on MySpace that said

You  Know What’s Really Nasty?

Nasty is when your Mom and her boyfriend are making out in the corner and giggling and being all around nasty. also its nasty when you Mom asks your opinion on her sex clothes. thats like potentially scarring……….damn it, I don’t know if it’s better or worse that they are completly silent now!

They were in a friends living room that they were visiting in another town when this happened. This is not the first time that we have heard about her Mom’s inappropriate sexual exhibitions in front of my daughter…and not the first time the court has heard about it. This time Child Welfare Services is going to be involved. Chances are, that as usual, they will say that “She didn’t mean to.” She (my ex) never means to do any of the things that she does.

She didn’t mean to stand there in court and say that she was making the 14 hour drive to my house to pick my daughter up from her last Thanksgiving visitation…insisting over and over again that she was driving….so that she could get a day knocked off my visitation (visitation that used to be 50% and has now been whittled down to 11% per year) She used that my daughter would be tired for school if she had to make that drive the Sunday before. The judge even told her she could fly or drive my daughter…she insisted that she was driving.

She already had the plane flight booked….to another town….because she was visiting friends for the weekend and wanted my daughter to join her.

The judge made three orders that day and threatened me with contempt if I violated any of them….the added my ex into that threat as an after thought!

1. That my ex turn my daughter over to my fiancee at 9am that morning.

2. That my ex DRIVE to my house and pick my daughter up.

3. That my child be in school at 9am on Monday morning.

My ex refused to let my fiancee have my daughter until almost 1pm. Now understand that my finacee had driven over 800 miles to be there and had only had about an hours sleep before court….so waiting all that extra time and then driving with my daughter was not what you would call safe.

We found out when my ex dropped my daughter off that she had already booker her flight home…..well what we thought was home. We found out later that week that she already had a flight booked when she told the judge that she was driving and had to change it because the judge only cut my visitation short one day instead of the two my ex asked for.  ( we proved this beyond a shadow of a doubt in court) And like I said….she didn’t fly her home….she flew her a 10 hour drive from home and drove to meet her there.

My daughter was not in school that Monday. They didn’t get home from the other town in time.

We filed contempt charges……The judge first tried to blame me…make it be my fault that she violated all these orders and lied. (Did I mention that I live 16 hours from the court house and they allowed her to serve me on Wednesday afternoon at 4pm to be in court Friday morning at 8am) My ex lives 2 hours from court. Did I mention that my ex was late for court……and that the judge tried to say since she wasn’t in court (her attorney was) she didn’t hear the orders and tried to use that as an excuse…luckily I had the transcripts that proved she heard it all and agreed to it all………..She didn’t do any of that intentionally, according to the judge.

During this hearing we were also supposed to be discussing a custody modification as well as the contempt and my ex’s motion to take away some of my 11% visitation. In California statute says that if a parent asks for “joint custody” that the only reason a judge can deny it is if the other parent proves abuse, and if the judge does deny it he/she has to put it in writing why…. Well abuse was not mentioned and never has been. I asked in declaration and verbally that if that joint custody motion was denied that the judge state his reasons why in writing. It was denied…..nothing in writing. He gave my ex most of what she wanted. Insured that I never have a full weekend with my daughter….and said she didn’t mean to vioalte all those court orders. (There were 6 counts of contempt and 1 count of perjury before him that day, I proved all counts.)

I got two emails that my daughter wrote entered into evidence that day. One in which she stated that she wanted to come live with me and the other detailing an incident in 2004 in which she called me hysterical wanting to come live with me because my wife was having sex in front of her with her boyfriend du jour and had “promised that she would not do that anymore.”

The judge apparently ignored them both……I was asking for 60/40 custody…The judge (the third judge in a row to do this) first said he was not going to change the orginal order…then changed it.

Did I mention that there are 8 possible judges and 1 commissioner that can hear this case….so far in two years we have had the commissioner and 5 of the judges. (we did get one judge recused, but he tried to hear the case anyway, which caused me to have to stay there for an extra 3 days and miss a whole week of work.)

Well now…we come to the ex, her new boyfriend and the new baby. They are trying to get my daughter to agree to this guy adopting her. My ex has been making my daughter hide this realtionship from me for about a year. We know this because the truck they were driving when they dropped my daughter off last month was his and the same truck my ex was driving last Thanksgiving when she dropped my daughter off. She has not let us come to their house to pick my daughter up in over a year…so he must have been living with them and she was hiding that from welfare and DCSS. (we just found out today that shes off welfare.) Now she has an excuse to claim 0 income…she’s pregnant and he is going to support her. We only found out that this guy existed because of the bulletin my daughter posted. We found out about the pregnancy because a friend in a band did a show for the production company that my ex works for and he saw her and met her.

I can’t wait to hear the excuses the judge makes for her this time!

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Injustce In Humboldt County, California

August 7, 2008 at 8:34 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

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Hello world!

August 7, 2008 at 8:30 am (Uncategorized)

Yep….hello world is right…..I am looking for others in my position in California…..read my blogs…..the never ending saga of fighting for my parental rights………..

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