Family Centered Case Resolution Process Information

Note: The information in this document is not legal advice. It is intended to provide general information, primarily for the self-represented litigant on what to expect at a Status Conference.

General Information
Who needs to attend a Status Conference?
What is a Status Conference?
What do I have to do prior to a Status Conference?

General Information

As of January 1, 2013, all California family courts are governed by the “family centered case resolution” process. This case management process is aimed at early settlement, quicker trial dates, reduced expense of litigation, and better assistance to families. Your case will be managed through one or more Status Conferences at which the parties, attorneys and a judicial officer will discuss a “case resolution plan”.

In Butte County, all (Dissolutions, legal separation, nullity, parentage and grandparent) cases filed after January 1, 2013 are set for a Status Conference within 180 days of filing of the petition. The “Notice” of the date of the first Status conference is provided on the Petition, which must be served along with the Summons. Additional Status Conferences will be set by the Court as needed or if requested by a party. Additional information can be found in the Family Code 2450, 2451, California Rule of Court 5.83, and the Butte County Superior Court Local Rules.

Attendance and Orders

Each party’s attorney or self-represented litigant must attend the initial, and any subsequent Status Conferences in person, unless the Court orders otherwise. Failure to attend a scheduled Status Conference without leave of Court may subject the case to dismissal.

Both attorneys and self-represented litigants must be familiar with the case and be prepared to discuss the party’s positions on all issues as well as potential stipulations on required legal procedures. The case management plan will become a written order signed by the judicial officer.

Status Conference

An initial Status conference is a meeting of the parties and the attorneys with a judicial officer for the purpose of reviewing the case’s progress towards disposition in a timely and effective manner in accordance with the milestones, disposition standards set forth in CRC 5.83. The judicial officer may take action including but not limited to setting additional status conferences, setting a family-centered case resolution conference, or scheduling the case for further review.

Parties or Counsel must inform the Court of the following:

  1. The attendance of both parties at Family Court Services mediation;
  2. The service by both parties of a complete Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure;
  3. The filing with the court of a Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure and Income and Expense Declaration;
  4. The readiness of the parties to participate in mediation;
  5. The appropriateness of referral to arbitration;
  6. The willingness of the parties to limit, schedule, or expedite discovery, including the willingness to provide the opposing party, without a discovery request:
    1. The name, address, and telephone number of each individual likely to have desirable information that supports the party’s disclosures, and
    2. A copy of, or a description by category and location of, all documents, data compilations, and tangible things that are in the possession, custody or control of the party and that supports the party’s disclosures;
  7. The appropriateness of implementation of a family-centered case resolution plan pursuant to Family Code section 2451; and
  8. The willingness of the parties to stipulate to the appointment of court experts, and allocate the expert’s expense, or to schedule a hearing for the appointment and expense allocation of court experts.
The Court may:

  1. Schedule disclosure of expert witnesses, by stipulation;
  2. Inquire whether issues can be narrowed by stipulation and set dates for the filing of stipulations;
  3. Set dates for further status conferences, as needed, and no less often than every six months;
  4. Set dates for other events that must take place before the next status conference;
  5. Set the date for trial and/or settlement conferences; and
  6. Take such other action, as permitted by law, which could promote the just and efficient disposition of the case.

Pre-Conference Requirements

Prior to the 1st Status Conference (in Dissolution and Legal Separation cases), each party shall serve the other with: