Chapter 2. San Mateo County Pilot Project of California Family Law Code >> Division 20. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 2.
The San Mateo County Pilot Project shall apply to hearings
on motions for temporary child support, temporary spousal support,
and temporary health insurance issuable in proceedings under this
code, where at least one party is unrepresented by counsel.
Motions for temporary orders under this chapter shall be
heard as soon as practicable, consistent with the rules governing
other civil actions.
The court shall appoint a Family Law Evaluator, who shall be
available to assist parties. By local rule the superior court may
designate the duties of the Family Law Evaluator, which may include,
but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Requiring litigants in actions which involve temporary child
support, temporary spousal support, and temporary maintenance of
health insurance in which at least one litigant is unrepresented, to
meet with the Family Law Evaluator prior to the support hearing.
(b) Preparing support schedules based on standardized formulae
accessed through existing up-to-date computer technology.
(c) Drafting stipulations to include all issues agreed to by the
(d) Prior to, or at, any hearing pursuant to this chapter,
reviewing the paperwork by the court, advising the judge whether or
not the matter is ready to proceed, and making a recommendation to
the court regarding child support, spousal support, and health
(e) Assisting the clerk in maintaining records.
(f) Preparing a formal order consistent with the court's announced
oral order, unless one of the parties is represented by an attorney.
(g) Assisting the court with research and any other
responsibilities which will enable the court to be responsive to the
The court shall provide the Family Law Evaluator at no cost
to the parties.
The clerk shall stamp all moving papers in which a party is
not represented by counsel with a notice of a requirement to see the
Family Law Evaluator. The unrepresented party shall serve the stamped
pleadings on the other party.
The court shall adopt a protocol wherein all litigants, both
unrepresented by counsel and represented by counsel, have ultimate
access to a hearing before the court.
The court may elect to publish a low-cost booklet describing
The Family Law Evaluator shall be an attorney, licensed to
practice in this state.
Orders for temporary support issued pursuant to this chapter
shall comply with the statewide uniform guideline set forth in
Article 2 (commencing with Section 4050) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of
Division 9 and shall be based on the economic evidence supplied by
the parties or otherwise available to the court.
Where it appears from a party's application for an order
under this chapter or otherwise in the proceedings that the custody
of, or visitation with, a minor child is contested, the court shall
set those issues for mediation pursuant to Section 3170. The pendency
of the mediation proceedings shall not delay a hearing on any other
matter for which a temporary order is required, including child
support, and a separate hearing, if required, shall be scheduled
respecting the custody and visitation issues following mediation in
accordance with Section 3170. However, the court may grant a
continuance for good cause shown.
In a contested proceeding for temporary child or spousal
support under this chapter, both the moving party and the responding
party shall provide all of the following documents to the Family Law
Evaluator, and to the court at the time of the hearing:
(a) Copies of the last two federal and state income tax returns
(b) Paycheck stubs for all paychecks received in the four months
immediately prior to the hearing.
A party who fails to submit documents to the court as
required by Section 20020 may, in the court's discretion, not be
granted the relief requested, or the court may impose evidentiary
The tax return submitted pursuant to Section 20020 may be
reviewed by the other party. A party may be examined by the other
party as to the contents of the tax return.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (c):
(1) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to apply to a child
for whom services are provided or required to be provided by a
district attorney pursuant to Section 11475.5 of the Welfare and
(2) The court shall not hear or enter any order under this chapter
in a matter involving such a child.
(b) Any order entered contrary to the provisions of subdivision
(a) is void and without legal effect.
(c) For purposes of enabling a custodial parent receiving
assistance under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3
of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to participate in
a pilot project authorized by this chapter, the district attorney,
upon the request of the custodial parent, may execute a limited
waiver of the obligation or representation under Section 11475.1 of
the Welfare and Institutions Code. These limited waivers shall be
signed by both the district attorney and custodial parent and shall
only permit the custodial parent to participate in the proceedings
under this chapter. It is not the intent of the Legislature in
enacting this section to limit the duties of district attorneys with
respect to seeking child support payments or to in any way limit or
supersede other provisions of this code respecting temporary child
(a) The costs of the Family Law Evaluator, any staff
necessary to assist the Family Law Evaluator, and the cost of the
booklet describing the program, if any, shall be borne by an increase
and an equalization of filing fees in San Mateo County to one
hundred fifty dollars ($150) for all petitions for marital
dissolution, annulment, and legal separation, and all first papers on
behalf of respondents in proceedings for marital dissolution,
annulment, and legal separation. Alternatively, the costs associated
with this pilot program may be paid from other funding sources.
(b) A donation of computers, printers, software, and other
equipment shall be solicited from existing hardware and software
(a) It is estimated that under the pilot project authorized
by this chapter, approximately 2,200 litigants will be served
annually and that the following savings will occur:
(1) The program would save 520 hours, or 65 days, of court time
(2) There would be a concomitant saving of time by litigants due
to the expedited proceedings and, in addition, there would be a
saving to litigants of wages that would otherwise be lost due to time
off from work.
(b) The estimated costs of the pilot project are as follows:
(1) The salaries of the Family Law Evaluator and any staff
necessary for the evaluator to carry out his or her functions.
(2) The cost of a booklet, if any, describing the program.
(c) There would be no cost for the following:
(1) Computers, printers, or other equipment. This equipment is
already available in the family law department.
(2) Training for the Family Law Evaluator or his or her staff.
They will be trained by already existing judicial personnel.