PROBATE RULE 1: ADMINISTRATION AND GENERAL POLICIES
A. ASSIGNMENT OF MATTERS
B. CASES INVOLVING EMPLOYEES
C. PROBATE CALENDARS
D. HEARING DATES
E. TELEPHONIC APPEARANCES
H. ADVANCE CASE STATUS REPORTS
I. APPOINTMENTS WITH PROBATE STAFF
J. CONTESTED MATTERS HEARD BY THE PROBATE DIVISION
K. CONTESTED MATTERS HEARD BY THE GUARDIANSHIP APJ
L. PRIVACY REQUIREMENTS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS, FINANCIAL ACCOUNT NUMBERS, AND COURT INVESTIGATOR REPORTS
The Probate Division hears matters concerning decedents’ estates, trusts, conservatorships, name changes, mental health matters under the Lanterman Petris Short (LPS) Act, firearm prohibitions, and quarantine detentions. All matters heard by the Probate Division, shall be assigned to the Supervising Judge of the Probate Division as the All Purpose Judge (APJ) or another judge designated by the Supervising Judge of the Probate Division as the APJ.
Effective February 2, 2016, the Family Division hears matters concerning guardianships of the person and estate, adoptions, terminations of parental rights under the Family Code, and emancipation of minors. All matters heard by the Family Division shall be assigned to the Supervising Judge of the Family Division as the APJ or another judge designated by the Supervising Judge of the Family Division as the APJ. This judge shall be referred to as the Guardianship APJ.
The civil case management judges designated by the Presiding Judge hear minor’s compromise matters.
The Local Rules governing all of these types of matters are set forth below.
If a court employee or deputy sheriff working in the Probate Division, or a member of his or her family, is a party to a case, the Supervising Judge of the Probate Division shall transfer the case to the Civil Division for assignment for all purposes.
1. ESTATE, TRUST AND CONSERVATORSHIP MATTERS
Decedent’s estate, trust, and conservatorship matters are heard in the Probate Division. Demurrers, motions to strike, special motions to strike (i.e. anti-SLAPP motions), motions to quash for lack of personal jurisdiction, motions for judgment on the pleadings, discovery motions, and summary judgment motions filed in decedent’s estate, trust and conservatorship matters are heard on the Probate Division’s motions calendar.
2. GUARDIANSHIP, ADOPTION AND RELATED MATTERS
Matters concerning guardianships, adoptions, terminations of parental rights, and emancipation of minors are heard in the Family Division.
3. MINOR’S COMPROMISE MATTERS
Minor’s compromise matters are heard by the civil case management judges.
For all matters set on probate calendars, except for minor’s compromise matters, parties are required to reserve a hearing date in the manner set forth on the Court’s website (www.scscourt.org). Hearing dates for minor’s compromise matters are set under the procedures set forth in Local Civil Rule 8C.
Telephonic appearances on probate matters are governed by California Rule of Court (CRC) 3.670 and Local Civil Rules 12B through 12E. Telephonic appearances are not permitted for guardianship appointments, conservatorship appointments or petitions to confirm the sale of real property.
When a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Re: Quarantine Detention is brought and an Order for Writ Issuance is granted, Petitioner shall directly call the department to which the case is assigned. The Probate Division direct line shall be indicated on the face of the Writ of Habeas Corpus Re: Quarantine Detention which is issued by the Clerk of the Court.
A continuance may be granted without the need for a court appearance only if all parties agree. The request may be made by a telephone call to the Probate Examiner’s Office at least three court days before the scheduled hearing. The Court may deny any continuance request.
On the call of the calendar, a matter may be continued for such period as the Court in its sole discretion will determine if a party appears on the hearing date and requests a continuance. The Court discourages repeated continuances of a matter.
Unless the Probate Code requires written objections, the Court may hear oral objections at the noticed hearing, or the Court may require the objections to be made in writing. . If written objections are required by the Court, the Court will continue the hearing and specify the date by which the objecting party must file and serve the written objections. Failure to file and serve such written objections on or before the date set may be grounds for overruling the objections. The following are local forms which may be used to object to the matters indicated:
(1) Objection to Petition to Remove Conservator (attached form PB-4035)
(2) Objection to Petition to Remove Guardian (attached form PB-4036)
(3) Objection to Petition to Remove Personal Representative (attached form PB‑4037)
(4) Objection to Petition to Remove Trustee (attached form PB-4038)
(5) Objection to Petition to Terminate Guardianship (attached form PB-4039)
(6) Objection to Guardianship (attached form PB-4043)
(7) Objection (attached form PB-4045)
It is the goal of the Probate Division to post Advance Case Status Reports (“ACSRs”) for decedents’ estates, trusts and conservatorship accounting matters on the court website (www.scscourt.org) at least two court days before the matters are scheduled to be heard. The most common notations for each case will be “Pre‑Approved”, “Continued”, “Parties to Appear”, and/or a list of procedural deficiencies.
(1) PRE-APPROVED MATTERS
Pre-approved matters are those that have been reviewed and found satisfactory by the Court before the date set for hearing. Personal appearance by the petitioning party is not required on pre-approved matters. Pre-approved matters to which objections are made may be continued. Orders for pre-approved matters will be signed upon the calling of the probate calendar. Parties may pick up their orders at that time.
(2) CORRECTING PROCEDURAL DEFECTS
Parties are to file additional submissions to correct procedural defects before 12:00 p.m. one court day before the matter is set for hearing. Late submissions may not be considered by the Court.
If in any matter a party believes a conference with the Probate Examiner or the Probate Staff Attorney would be appropriate, an appointment should be made with the Probate Examiner's office.
(1) SUBMISSION ON THE PLEADINGS
At-issue, contested matters that are ready for hearing and that parties agree to submit on the pleadings may be taken under submission or ruled upon at the scheduled hearing.
(2) EVIDENTIARY HEARING
At-issue, contested matters that are ready for hearing and for which the total hearing time does not exceed three hours may be heard by the Probate Division . Briefs for evidentiary hearings should be filed and served three days before the hearing unless otherwise specified by the Court.
(3) HEARINGS AND TRIALS LONGER THAN THREE HOURS
Matters requiring hearings or trials longer than three hours will be set on the Civil Division’s master trial calendar. Local Civil Rule 9 shall govern the proceedings, except that the Probate Division shall hear all issues up to trial.
At-issue, contested matters that are ready for hearing and for which the total hearing time does not exceed two days may be heard by the Guardianship APJ. A matter requiring a hearing longer than two days may be set on the Civil Division’s master trial calendar. Local Civil Rule 9 shall govern the proceedings except that the Guardianship APJ shall hear all issues up to trial.
Parties are reminded to comply with CRC 1.20 which requires the redaction of certain social security numbers and financial account numbers. In addition, Court Investigator Reports are confidential documents and are not to be attached, in whole or in part, to any pleadings or other documents filed with the Court.