MN Family Law Attorney

Review hearing at court.

Judge for Review Hearing

Many cases don’t need a review hearing.  However, sometimes active cases contain procedures that don’t fit definite timelines.  Custody evaluations are one example.  Therefore, it doesn’t always make sense to schedule formal hearings at a particular time.

Instead, the court can hold a review hearing.  This helps the judge learn:

  • Where the parties stand on the issues,
  • What’s been resolved through ADR processes or direct negotiation,
  • What are the next steps for moving the case along.

Review hearings can be a useful way for the parties to retain flexibility with how they proceed.  At the same time, they provide the judge a way to make sure the parties are nudged toward some outcome on the case.

Review hearings may be held in person or by phone conference.  In the case of a phone conference, typically only attorneys and the judge need to be on the call.

Typically a judge will not decide any new issues at the hearing unless there is a motion properly before the court or the parties agree to some change in what they’ve been doing.

Special Case: Six-Month Review Hearing

The review hearing typically occurs before the case has been decided and a divorce decree has been entered.  The 6-month review hearing is a notable exception to this.  This hearing is optional and designed to occur after a final decision has been made.

The six-month review hearing may involve two issues: Compliance with parenting time provisions of the order and whether child support is current.

In order to start the proceeding, either party only needs to submit a request for hearing form with the court.  This needs to be done within six months of the entry of the decree or order.

The process is designed to make it easy for one side to get back into court if the other party is not complying with the order.

If you have more questions, please review the links to the left, head back to the MN Family Law Attorney home , or visit Majeski Law .  If you’re interested in retaining an attorney, please feel free to email or call using the links in the upper right.

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What is a six month Review Hearing?

Hopefully, once the judge signs the divorce Decree finalizing a divorce or an Order finalizing a custody case, families settle into a new routine of life.  The hope is the parents follow the parenting time schedule, child support gets paid and the parents are communicating with one another about medical and school issues.  In reality, the “new normal” does not always go as planned.

Every family court Order, whether it is a divorce, custody or parenting time case, that deals with parenting time, legal custody, physical custody or child support has forms attached to it.  Either parent can ask the court to review the last court Order after six months of the Order being signed by the judge.  It is important to know the request for the six month Review Hearing must be made before the six months prior to the date the Order was signed runs out.  The six month Review Hearings must be completed and filed with Court Administration, which schedules a Review Hearing for the parents and the judge within a reasonable time.  The judge, during that court Hearing, reviews the parenting time schedule and child support payments to see that both parents are complying with what the court previously ordered.

In terms of child support, the person paying child support has to provide documentation of those payments to the court showing the child support payments have not been made.  A parent can request documentation from the child support enforcement office, but the request must be made at least fourteen days before the Review Hearing.

A judge cannot change child support obligations or parenting time orders at the six-month review hearing.  Thus, a parent should speak with an experienced family attorney prior to the six months running out if a parent wants representation at the Review Hearing or if a parent wants to pursue changing legal custody, physical custody, parenting time or child support.

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Farzad & Ochoa Family Law Attorneys, LLP

California Requests for Order in Family Court

Learn about filing, serving and the hearing on a request for order

  • Contested Divorces
  • Divorce Hearings

Here is a checklist guide to divorce hearings in California

The following are a list of court appearances that are typical in divorce cases.

1. Status or case resolution conference

The court may set a status or case resolution conference to obtain an update from the lawyers or self-represented parties about the case's status. Typically, nothing significant happens at these status conferences. The court simply wants to know where the case has been and where the case is going.

2. Request for order hearing

The court sets a request for order hearing when either spouse through his or her lawyer files a request for order.

A request for order is exactly what it sounds like. It is a series of paperwork including certain forms and declarations where a spouse requests the court to make certain orders.

A request for order typically seeks temporary orders while the divorce is pending. These temporary orders include but are not limited to child custody and visitation , child support , spousal support , attorney's fees , temporary exclusive use or possession of property or other temporary property control related orders.

What you must know about request for order hearings

  • A request for order hearing is sometimes a full evidentiary hearing. That means both spouses and any witnesses brought to the hearing may testify in open court.
  • Once the testimony and the hearing concludes, the court makes a ruling.
  • It is common for the court to not only suggest but to insist the spouses attempt resolution of the issues on the date of the hearing.
  • If the hearing starts but does not finish, the court may continue the hearing to a new date. If the court has a particularly busy calendar, the court may also continue the hearing. Sometimes, the spouses, through their lawyers, continue the hearing. This is common when the settlement negotiations are ongoing and the spouses are reasonably working toward resolution.

3. Emergency hearings

An emergency hearing (also called an "ex parte" hearing ) should only result when there is a true emergency. A true emergency includes situations where the children are in imminent threat of physical harm or abduction or property is in imminent danger of loss or destruction. Another typical emergency hearing is a domestic violence restraining order hearing where one spouse perpetrated domestic violence against the other spouse and the victim spouse needs immediate protection.

4. Mediation

A court ordered mediation occurs in child custody cases after either spouse files a request for order and asks the court for child custody and visitation orders. Before the request for order hearing, the court orders the spouses to attend mediation at the courthouse and attempt resolution of the child custody and visitation issues.

California law does not permit lawyers to attend these mediations

The spouses typically attend alone although in cases of domestic violence, a victim spouse may bring another with him or her. In Orange County and Los Angeles County, if the spouses are unable to resolve the child custody and visitation issues, they simply proceed to hearing and the mediator does not make any report to the Court.

In Riverside County, the mediator may make recommendations to the Court after the mediator meets with the spouses.

In any County, a mediator may report to the court if the mediator learns of reasonably suspected child abuse. If the spouses reach a partial or complete agreement on child custody and visitation, the mediator will typically write the terms and present it to the spouses for signature at mediation.

5. Review hearings

Sometimes, a court will make orders and then set a review hearing to review the orders and determine how the situation progresses between the spouses. This is most common in child custody and visitation cases where an initial order limits a parent's time but the court or one or both spouses expect that time to increase.

6. Trial setting conference

A trial setting conference is a hearing where the court expects each spouse's lawyer to explain the case's status, what issues have resolved or may soon resolve and whether the case is ready for trial. A court may set the case for a trial at that time or the court may set a mandatory settlement conference before the trial date.

Sometimes, the court sets a mandatory settlement conference instead of a trial and then if the case does not settle at the mandatory settlement conference, the court will then set the case for trial. Other times, the court may set a trial and a mandatory settlement conference before the trial.

Not every court handles trial setting conference is the exact same way. Some courts have special filing requirements before a trial setting conference.

7. Trial readiness conference

Some counties set a trial readiness conference before they set the case for trial. Others may set this conference after they set the case for trial but before the trial itself. A trial readiness conference is similar to a trial setting conference. Some courts set prefiling and service deadlines before the trial readiness conference.

8. Mandatory settlement conference

A mandatory settlement conference is not a court hearing in the true sense because a judge does not make any decisions on that date. A mandatory settlement conference is each spouse's opportunity to appear with his or her lawyer and attempt to resolve some or all of the issues. The court holds mandatory settlement conferences at the courthouse.

It is common for the lawyers to report to the courtroom department at the beginning of the morning and then be excused to attempt resolution. If a mandatory settlement conference results in a resolution, one or both lawyers may draft the settlement terms and in some cases, the spouses and the lawyers may sign the settlement terms at the mandatory settlement conference.

This page does not discuss trials. We wrote a comprehensive guide on California divorce trials, to which we link below.

Learn more about California divorce hearings

There is more to learn about the difference types of California divorce hearings. The guides we link below include those on:

  • Requests for order

California divorce trials

  • Post judgment modification hearings
  • Contempt hearings

Keep reading, keep learning and use that knowledge in your search for a family law attorney.

"Walking into a court hearing of any type without a high skilled family law litigator is a dangerous game you do not want to play. If your case matters, choose from the elite family law attorneys."

- B. Robert Farzad

Request for order in California

Post divorce judgment modifications

Contempt of court in family law

Peter is a rockstar. This firm assisted me against a gatekeeper mother. The professionalism from this firm motivated me to become a paralegal. I intend to retain again in the future because more complexities has risen and I am confident this firm will help me gain more custodial time.

Choosing a good family law attorney is one of the most important decisions you can make. I was referred to Farzad & Ochoa Law Firm by a family member. I was fortunate to be assigned to Peter. He is passionate in what he does. He is kind but firm, tough when need be. His attention to detail was impressive compared to other lawyers I have had in the past. I was in awe of his performance in...

Farzad & Ochoa were very professional and knowledgeable with my case. I wish I've found them sooner, that would have save me a lot of time. Yvette worked on my case and in few weeks, she was up to speed and had a winning strategy. The opposing counsel was very aggressive but Yvette was very knowledgeable, confident and objective. I strongly recommend her and her firm.

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There are no words to adequately express my gratitude for the services I received during the course of my, unusually complicated divorce. The entire team guided me through an extremely difficult period in my life. Their caring, for me as a person as well as a client was always evident throughout the process. Each and every member of this remarkable team remained professional, competent and...

Thank you to Amanda and Robert for their expertise and ease of my divorce. Highly recommend.

"It is not an exaggeration to say that the life I lead today is due to the work of Robert Farzad. I was ensnared in a deadly trap by a vengeful ex-wife intent on depriving me of the wealth I worked very hard for while at the same time alienating me from my children. The process was never-ending, I was slowly bleeding to death under unaffordable payments and I was deprived of seeing my young...

Farzad & Ochoa Family Law Attorneys was the best choice I could of have made for  representing me in my family law case. I'm a retired Marine and would highly recommend them to all my fellow active duty and veteran family. also anyone that wants a law firm that has integrity is decisive and really cares about your case and finds the best way to handle your needs.They were always...

"I am an attorney with 23 years of daily litigation experience. I first met Robert as my opposing counsel in a family law case and later handled a second matter through trial against Robert. I found Robert to be extremely knowledgeable and professional. Despite the unfortunate aspects of the litigation process, Robert always kept an eye on an effective balance between aggressive advocacy and...

I would highly recommend Amanda Naples as your lawyer for your legal needs. Amanda made the unpleasant process of getting a divorce as simple and painless as possible. I appreciated her timely communication, professionalism, and sage advice. Definitely felt that she had my best interest at heart.

The entire team at Farzad and Ochoa were high performing and caring. They provided me with several strategy options and succeeded in delivering the best possible outcome. They are honest, organized and clear communicators. I can’t thank Lauri enough for her responsiveness and leadership throughout my case. If I had not found them, I don’t think the outcome would have been nearly as favorable.

The idea of navigating a divorce alone was horrifying, but Robert and the Farzad & Ochoa Law team made the entire process very straight forward, and easy to navigate. It's hard enough dealing with a separation and our busy lives, but if you do your part to gather the information that the team requests, they help you prepare, and confirm that everything is exactly as the courts...

No one looks forward to contacting a law firm after realizing you need to get a divorce; however, my experience with Amanda Naples and Robert Farzad was one that absolutely made the experience one that I didn't dread as much as I would have! Amanda handled my case with the utmost professionalism and shielded me from having to deal with my ex. She made the entire process seamless...

I cannot praise the Farzad & Ochoa team enough! I came to Robert with a very unique, post-judgement issue in my divorce and he and his team far surpassed my expectations. Not only did Robert and Alaa solve the issue at hand with their superior expertise in law and attention to detail, but they identified the personality type of my ex and knew exactly how to approach the case. They remained...

I had an excellent experience with Farzad and Ochoa Family Law Attorney's handling of my divorce case. Yvette Ochoa managed my case and I couldn't more pleased with her performance. She gave me sage advice on my settlement options and crafted a comprehensive offer that in the end was satisfactory to both parties. My wife's attorney was Hell bent to take me to court. With much help from Yvette,...

I want thank my Attorney Yvette Ochoa for representing me during one of the most difficult and frustrating times for my family. She supported me the entire time. She always remained patient and professional. She always made me feel like my case was priority! Because of Yvette and the rest of the team I was able to gain joint physical and legal custody of my five year old son ! I highly...

I retained Robert Farzad to represent me in a custody case for my son about 3 years ago. Finding a good family law attorney to help you successfully navigate Family court is difficult. My only regret is not retaining Robert Farzad sooner than I did! I was served court documents when my son was just days old and I was in a complete panic. I knew NOTHING about family law. I chose a random...

Great law firm! I had never needed representation before my divorce and had no idea what the process was or how to go about it. With the help of my attorney's, my case was settled precisely as Farzad Law had laid out according to my wishes and agreements with my estranged wife. I would highly recommend this firm if you are looking for a divorce attorney.

Matt Sundly has been the greatest attorney to work with! My husband had the pleasure of working with him on his prior divorce and Matt recently helped me with my modification for custody and child support. He is a great attorney, in the court room he is aggressive and will fight with all of his might for you. He returns your calls when you need him and always gives you the best advice. He is...

Robert and the rest of the team at his firm achieved not only the big picture results we aimed for, but also remain very savvy at proactively assessing risk and unknowns when dealing with potentially inflammatory co-parenters. Short term settlement objectives were satisfied, and laying the foundation to protect my child's best interests in the long term were of utmost importance--and continue...

This law firm has stuck with me through a lot and has helped me out in so many ways. This firm will be as invested in you as you're invested in your family. I feel that there are not enough words in the English language to express how grateful I am. Although Mr. Farzad may disagree since, in my opinion, he is a great verbalist and he can probably find much better words than I could. Which that...

"When it came time to make the painful decision to file for divorce, I was very nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I knew things would get ugly. My ex-wife was very hostile, financially aggressive and determined to fight me at every turn. From the beginning, the firm eased my concerns and lowered my stress level. They immediately analyzed my situation and put together a sound strategy...

"Words cannot describe how grateful I am to you and your staff. My move away situation was horrible and I didn’t know what to expect. But after meeting with you, I knew I had found the best possible person to represent me. You were honest, telling me the truth about my case, good and bad. You prepared me for a potentially hard and long battle. Your team was so thorough and detailed...

"I can not say enough about Robert and the culture he has created throughout his firm! Client and outcome driven through-and-through, while keeping integrity and “humanness” center stage. I hired Robert and his firm for my paternity case after 10 months with a top notch Los Angeles firm that fell victim to the same manipulations and game-playing my ex functions with. They weren’t able...

If you're looking for an excellent attorney for a family law case, Farzad Family Law is exactly what you need. From the very first call and strategy meeting, I felt instantly at ease and confident that my representation would be nothing short of amazing. I've had the pleasure of working with Matt, Peter, and Robert and they don't just claim to care about you and your personal situation; their...

"Let me first say this…FINDING A GOOD FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY IS HARD,HARD AS HELL! I was lucky to run into this firm. My situation began a couple years ago when my bitter ex filed court documents against me for custody. I had no idea about court and even less regarding family law. I was in a panic. I interviewed the first attorney I saw on yelp with 5 stars and hired him. He was a horrible...

"Before I met Robert, I had never spent more than six hours per week with my eight month old son. I tried to fight for more time but was never able to succeed. I felt very lost and scared about what might happen because I had absolutely no understanding of the family court system. My first attorney would barely take my calls or inform me of what was going on. I contacted Robert through his...

"Want to thank everyone at the Farzad Family Law offices for everything they did for me. They treated me like Family and provided the upmost sincere advise with a great outcome to my case. Thank you for having my best interest at hand and always keeping me updated. GREAT Job. Would recommend to anyone going through a divorce. They are sincere and trustworthy."

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"After 5 years of trying to negotiate custody for my son through other law firms, and having to settle for minimal visitation rights, I now have 50/50 custody for my son, thanks to Mathew and Ashley who were able to help me!!! I am highly satisfied with their services, I would recommend Farzad Family Law to anyone in my former situation. Thank you!!!!"

"There are no words to express how thankful I was to have Matt by my side through my custody battle! The most scariest time of my life and to have the most trustworthy attorney makes it all that much easier…whenever I felt stressed out him and Ashley always made me feel confident again! He goes in there and handles his business! I can’t thank Matt (and Ashley) enough for getting me...

"Robert got the job done! Came to him with my divorce dilemma, wife wasn’t letting me see the kids. Within 2 months Robert changed everything! I am almost done with the divorce now and Robert is HIGHLY recommended, and I will recommend him to any of my family and friends in the same situation. Thank you Robert and Yvette for all your help!'

"I can honestly say that working with Farzad Family Law has been a wonderful experience through a very difficult time. I’ve been working with Robert and his team for 3 1/2 years now. Never one have I felt as though I was just another client. Even during the slow times of my case such as waiting on continuances, distant court dates, or when nothing was happening legally I could always quickly...

"Over the years, I sometimes found internet links to articles on Farzad Law’s website which I found extremely helpful – but I already had competent legal assistance in my corner. But nearly a decade post-divorce, I needed help for a very specific contempt action. Another one of those website articles lead me to place a call to Robert Farzad. Having left my name & number, Robert called back...

"I came to Farzad Family Law not knowing anything about them. I had received a recommendation from a paralegal that these people were good people. You read Yelp pages and Google reviews and you as a consumer don’t really know how things will work out for you from reviews or word of mouth. I personally don’t write reviews, but for these people you need to know. Robert and Matt and their...

"When I contacted Farzad Family Law to handle my divorce there was one thing that was important to me. I did not want to fight with my ex-wife verbally on the way out. A couple are married for many years and the last thing they do is say a lot of vile things that they later regret and have to live with. FFL handled this for us very well and I highly recommend them."

"If you’re looking for an attorney, scratch that, a firm that looks out for you, that works as a team on your case, that treats you like family I have to say I don’t think any other team could make you feel the way they treated me. I have to be honest, they make you feel important, like your case is first priority. They’re always available and able to answer any questions, you’ll never...

"I had been married just under a year when it became very clear my husband and I were not meant to be together. A couple years before the marriage, I had purchased a house that had appreciated quite a bit in the year I was married. I was concerned I would have to sell my house to pay a large settlement as consequence of the appreciation…He negotiated a financial settlement that was...

"My separation was amicable until it wasn’t. When it came time to hire an attorney, I called several. Most were practical and dispassionate. Robert, however, was not only passionate about my case, he was mad about what my ex was trying to pull. I think he might have even been angrier than I was. I hired him the next day. While handling my case, he maintained that fervor while deflecting...

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"When the mother of my children filed false accusation in court to get custody of our daughter, I lost temporary custody but thanks to Farzad Family Law, seeing me on such short time notice from our court date they were able to take on my case and represent me in court doing an excellent job with clearing my name and getting me everything I ask for and more. I am very pleased and grateful...

"When my ex-wife filed papers for more custody and child support, I chose the attorneys at Farzad Family Law. They were professional, honest and always had my best interest in mind. They were always quick to return my phone calls and emails, and never beat around the bush. They will be honest and straight forward with you about your case. Because of all these amazing qualities, I was able to...

"Divorce is never easy and a divorce with children is even more difficult. After several calls and meetings with different attorneys in Orange County, I met with Robert and Yvette. Both were extremely assertive, informative, and composed. However, the main reason I chose them to represent me, was that they were patient and compassionate. I felt comfortable explaining my situation (even though...

"Life can be ever changing in a split second. I found myself in need of a divorce attorney quickly. Through a recommendation I found Robert and his team. Through their professionalism, compassion and just pure kindness, they made this journey for me and my son bearable. I will forever be grateful to them."

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"Robert has been an incredible help during a very stressful, constant battle with Orange County DCSS. He and his team were always there to answer the phone, provide advice, and therefore, drastically lowering my stress level and anxiety. He was right, it takes a little bit of time and patience, but the outcome was finally both in the best interest of my kids and fair to me. I’m quite...

"I searched for about 4 months and talked to a lot of attorneys for my case to get custody of my 14 year old daughter. Finally I talked to Robert 3 times before I said yes to taking my case. I have had a lot of bad experiences with attorneys going up against my ex-husbands attorney. I was very scared that it would turn out like it has in the past with my case getting dismissed. Robert and...

"Divorce is not an easy process. I was faced with so many different emotions I wasn’t prepared for. Luckily, Robert Farzad and team helped walk me through the process. The times I felt like I couldn’t fight anymore, the team really stepped up and made sure I didn’t give up. They are about a FAIR divorce, which I respect. I am very appreciative I had Robert Farzad and his team on my...

Mr Farzad is very accommodating and fair. He is very attentive . If you ever need to reach him for any matter, he will return your phone call or email very promptly. Although his clients are going through a very difficult time, he will act very firmly on his clients behalf and make sure that they are making the right decision under the circumstances. His staff is very pleasant and always there...

"When it came time to find an attorney for my divorce, Robert Farzad’s firm was one of the firms recommended to me. I had a long and detailed conversation with Robert Farzad after which I decided to meet with him and have him represent me. During the initial phone meeting as well as the person to person meeting, Robert made his recommendation on how to proceed with my divorce. He...

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"Like most parents, I really only care about the safety and well -being of my children. My ex was an addict and was a direct threat to himself and my son, though no one seemed to listen to me! Once I retained Robert Farzad things changed. I had a lengthy custody battle that lasted for years, but Robert and his team were there with me every step of the way, always keeping the safety of my son...

"I came to Robert Farzad’s office after I met someone at the court house and referred me to him. I was in a nasty divorce and needed an attorney who would take my case seriously and personally. My ex is one of those wives who would say or do anything to win sole custody of the child to have more money from child support. Robert is NOT the type of attorney who likes to lose. How many...

"I have hired Robert Farzad as an out of town attorney. Although he never practiced in the town where I had my case filed, Robert soon became famous in the courtroom. Soon after other attorneys in that town spoke about him with respect and even judges respected his approach and honesty. I have never met an attorney who was so sharp and intelligent. He ALWAYS looked out for the best interest...

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"I was referred to the firm by a close friend of mine. From the first phone call to the final court appearance, the professionalism and attention to detail of the staff were nothing short of fantastic. They kept me informed and most importantly, they got me results. I have to thank Matt and Holly most of all, they really got me through a difficult situation. I’d recommend the firm to anyone...

"The firm helped us thought a rough time in our life when we were struggling with a very high child support payment that they reduced by more than half. They also got us more time with our son and helped us out with a divorce that was very complicated. I couldn’t have selected a better law firm to assist me with my problems. Their staff is always available to help in anyway…I would highly...

"After going through two attorneys that did nothing for me but run up my bill, I was blessed to find Robert Farzad and his law firm. I have never met an attorney who was so sharp and intelligent. He ALWAYS looked out for the best interest of me and my daughter. Once I retained him I was finally able to sleep through the night and my stress levels were low. I never had to worry about...

"I was very impressed with the level of service I received from the firm. I met and spoke with the actual attorneys who would be representing me. They explained everything they could, should, and would do in a way that made me feel they had my best interest in mind. I was not overloaded with paperwork or unnecessary phone calls in an attempt to jack up their billing hours. Communications were...

"They talked me through everything. It was a very comfortable process thanks to them. It was a great feeling knowing they had mine and my children’s best interests at heart. They gave me their time wholeheartedly which mattered to me the most. This office proved to me that professionalism and a caring attitude can and do go hand in hand. My lawyer had a calming, yet powerful way about her...

"I highly recommend Robert Farzad. He is well versed on divorce, child custody and family law. He is accountable and expects the same from you. I met Robert Farzad through a friend’s attorney who Robert was up against him. My friend’s attorney, she said ‘Robert Farzad is cleaning my clock in my case against with him’. My friend’s attorney called Robert Farzad personally and explained...

"Their knowledge and expertise in negotiating helped me to obtain the best Marital Settlement Agreement for my financial situation. I would recommend this law firm to any single father looking for solid representation and the best possible financial outcome. I was able to sleep at night knowing that all the details and available options were considered and put on the table. This ensured the...

"I am a United States Marine. Robert and Matt represented me in my divorce and child custody Case. I cannot thank them enough on how they represented me in court, resulting in getting me the time I deserved with my daughter. They are true professionals and always showed true concern for me. There is not a doubt in my mind I would recommend them to family, friends or other service members....

"Recently, I was encountered with two family law cases in superior court. The first time I decided to use a paralegal in order to save money. I quickly learned that this decision was the wrong decision. It only extended my court case, caused problems I was not familiar with and ended costing me more money. The second time Matt and Robert represented me. They are skilled, they know the law and...

"I was represented by Robert Farzad and Matt Sundly in my Domestic Violence / Divorce case. It was a difficult time for me. They were professional and courteous, knowing how emotionally difficult this was for me. Their staff took time to inform me of details on the case, and in the end I was satisfied with the results all due to their efforts. I would say, if you must get a divorce, then...

"Attorney Matthew Sundly, has represented my interests in an ongoing and difficult custody situation for the last 4 years. There is no one else I would want to represent me. The professionalism, communication and interest in my case are second to none. Without Mr. Sundly’s commitment and personal attention to the details of my case, I fear what the outcome might have been. Knowing Mr. Sundly...

"I couldn’t be happier with their representation. I highly recommend them to anyone who is going through a divorce, or separation. They are professional, upfront about everything, kept me informed, and got me the results I was looking for."

"Matthew Sundly represented me in my child custody case. My son was living in a very dangerous and unhealthy environment with his mother. Because of Matthew’s skills in the courtroom and his wonderful rapport with judges and opposing counsel alike, I was able to gain full custody of my son and a very bad situation was completely turned around. Throughout my entire case, Matthew Sundly was...

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- anonymous

"I was referred to Robert by someone I met at the court house. I'm glad I called him and handed my case to him. Robert takes your case very personal. He doesn't treat you like his client. He treats you like a family member. I loved the work he did for me. Hopefully I don't have to hire him again. But I will definitely hire him when I need an attorney."

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- Christine

"I wish I had found Matt at the beginning of my case, but I'm glad to have had him to finish it up. Matt understands family law and the court system. He presents well in court and was well respected by all. I would not hesitate, if needed, to retain Matt for any family law matter. He's my go-to-guy."

"It was because of Mr. Sundly's calm and pleasant demeanor and Farzad Family Law's incredible staff that something that could have easily been as stressful (if not more) as my previous "battles" with my ex-wife. I was always kept "In the loop" as to what was going on, what the next steps were and what, if anything, was needed from me. Mr. Sundly took the bull by the horns and did everything...

"I came to him after my original attorney did nothing more than sit and take my money, Mr. Sundly was responsive and made me feel like he cared what the outcome would be. He took what was nothing 19% custody of my son to 48% and I am sure that if I would have gone with him initially I would have had at least 50%. My only regret is that I did not go to him first."

These guys did a great job. In particular, the team approach really set them apart from other law firms, lending the obvious benefit: some lawyers are better at attention to detail, some litigation, some in managing relationships. All were important to me; however, rarely do those traits all lie within a single person. With the team at Farzad & Ochoa, all of those strengths were delivered.

Farzad Law is well-qualified for all family law matters. Robert Farzad is extremely knowledgeable in family law. I found his tutorials both informative and easy-to-read, in language we can all understand. Robert and his office staff are professional and are timely in following up on inquiries. Farzad Law uses a methodical process to evaluate your case. Their success rate is high, due in great...

I spent a lot of money getting an important stipulation done, but it was worth every penny. There is an end in sight for spousal support! All the staff were great, professional and top notch. They got the job done!

I don’t know where to begin to express my sincere gratitude for having such a professional team of people helping me get through one of the most difficult life changing events. Robert, to Alaa Alomar to Luis McKissick and finally Amanda Naples to get me over the finish line. I learned so much about myself from the counsel of these professional attorneys. What’s more is that they knew ...

I was an emotional wreck and Robert heard my worries, heard my pains and with his calm, compassionate response made me feel some peace, some hope and gave me confidence he could handle the situation. I handed the steering wheel to him. He and his team put their legal experience and knowledge to use in fighting for my daughter and me. His top notch team kept me updated and promptly ...

Mr. Farzad and his office were extremely responsive, professional and discreet. The initial strategy call was extremely helpful and I found that Mr Farzad is genuinely interested in me reaching the fastest, least expensive and best outcome possible. He’s driven by great outcomes more than by making a buck. Finding a family attorney is a daunting project. For my part, I wholeheartedly...

I have never written a business review. But I feel the need to say thank you to Matt Sundly. Matt gave me very human, clear-eyed, and precise advice in my hour-long consultation and follow-up to deal with a crazy custodial conflict issue in the middle of this COVID crisis. I am hoping I will not need to take my case to court, but I feel very secure in Matt's and this firm's hands....

My attorney was professional and even though we came across a problem she was able to solve it and help me win my case.

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Supreme Court rules Trump has immunity for official acts in landmark case on presidential power

By Melissa Quinn , Robert Legare

Updated on: July 2, 2024 / 8:03 AM EDT / CBS News

Washington — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that former President Donald Trump is entitled to immunity from federal prosecution for official actions he took while in office, a landmark decision at the height of an election season that further delays the start of his criminal trial in Washington, D.C.

The 6-3 decision along ideological lines tosses out a ruling from the federal appeals court in Washington that concluded Trump is not entitled to broad immunity from criminal charges stemming from an alleged scheme to hold on to power after the 2020 election. The justices sent the dispute back to the district court for further proceedings, and gave the court guidance about how to move forward.

The ruling expands presidential power by extending immunity from criminal prosecutions to former presidents for their official conduct. Never before had the Supreme Court considered whether a former commander in chief could face criminal charges as a result of conduct that occurred while in the Oval Office. 

Trump is the first to have held the presidency and faced prosecution. He has pleaded not guilty to four charges stemming from an alleged effort to subvert the transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election.

The former president cheered the decision, calling it a "big win for our Constitution and democracy" in a social media post . The special counsel declined to comment. 

President Biden criticized the decision in remarks from the White House, claiming it allows any president to ignore the law. 

"This is a fundamentally new principle and it's a dangerous precedent, because the power of the office will no longer be constrained by the law, even including the Supreme Court of the United States," Mr. Biden said. "The only limits will be self-imposed by the president alone." 

Trump v. United States

The Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Monday, July 1, 2024.

While concluding that former presidents have sweeping legal protections from charges for alleged acts that fell within their official duties, the Supreme Court rejected Trump's claims that he is entitled to sweeping, absolute immunity unless impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate. Such a decision would have brought the federal prosecution by special counsel Jack Smith to an end. 

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the majority. He divided presidential conduct into three categories: official acts that are part of presidents' "core constitutional powers"; other official acts that are outside their "exclusive authority"; and unofficial acts. Presidents have "absolute" immunity for the first category, "presumptive" immunity for the second and no immunity for the third.

"The president enjoys no immunity for his unofficial acts, and not everything the president does is official. The president is not above the law," Roberts wrote. "But Congress may not criminalize the president's conduct in carrying out the responsibilities of the Executive Branch under the Constitution."

The ruling makes it highly unlikely that a trial will happen before the November presidential election, since the district court is now instructed to examine some of the allegations contained in the indictment to determine whether they fall within the scope of immunity.

In the indictment, Smith accused the former president of conspiring with Justice Department officials to pressure states into overturning election results. The chief justice wrote that Trump is "absolutely immune from prosecution for the alleged conduct involving his discussions with Justice Department officials" since "the President cannot be prosecuted for conduct within his exclusive constitutional authority."

"The indictment's allegations that the requested investigations were 'sham[s]' or proposed for an improper purpose do not divest the president of exclusive authority over the investigative and prosecutorial functions of the Justice Department and its officials," Roberts wrote for the court.

As to Smith's allegations that Trump pushed then-Vice President Mike Pence to delay Congress' certification of the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, 2021, the court said it is the government's burden to rebut the presumption that Trump has immunity.

Regarding the rest of the conduct alleged in the charges against Trump — namely that he worked to organize false slates of electors, communicated with outside attorneys to execute that plan and urged his supporters to descend on Washington on Jan. 6 — the court ruled any protections from prosecution "may depend on the content of context" of the allegations. 

The Supreme Court instructed the district court judge overseeing the case to "carefully analyze the indictment's remaining allegations to determine whether they too involve conduct for which a president must be immune from prosecution. And the parties and the District Court must ensure that sufficient allegations support the indictment's charges without such conduct."

The court's conservative majority also said that testimony or private records of the president or his advisers examining such conduct cannot be admitted as evidence at trial.

The minority's dissent

Joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent that the decision "reshapes the institution of the presidency" by insulating presidents from criminal liability and accused the conservative majority of inventing an "atextual, ahistorical, and unjustifiable immunity that puts the president above the law."

"It makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of government, that no man is above the law," the three liberal justices said.

Sotomayor said the conservative majority failed to place a concrete limit on its decision, even though it acknowledged that a former president can be prosecuted for private conduct. The line the majority drew for dividing official and unofficial conduct, she claimed, narrows the acts that can be deemed unofficial.

"The majority today endorses an expansive vision of presidential immunity that was never recognized by the Founders, any sitting president, the Executive Branch, or even President Trump's lawyers, until now," Sotomayor wrote. "Settled understandings of the Constitution are of little use to the majority in this case, and so it ignores them."

She also rebuffed concerns that the threat of criminal liability would chill the actions of future presidents and pointed in part to "safeguards" required for a federal criminal prosecution.

"The majority seems to think that allowing former presidents to escape accountability for breaking the law while disabling the current executive from prosecuting such violations somehow respects the independence of the executive," Sotomayor wrote. "It does not. Rather, it diminishes that independence, exalting occupants of the office over the office itself."

Sotomayor called the decision "deeply wrong," and warned that it will have long-term consequences.

"The court effectively creates a law-free zone around the president, upsetting the status quo that has existed since the founding," she said.

Sotomayor cited several examples raised in lower court proceedings to determine the contours of presidential immunity, and said that under the Supreme Court's ruling, a president would be shielded from prosecution for ordering Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival, organizing a military coup to retain power or taking a bribe in exchange for a pardon.

"In every use of official power, the president is now a king above the law," she said.

Sotomayor ended her opinion stating, "with fear for our democracy, I dissent."

Trump's immunity claim

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has sought to delay proceedings in the case related to the 2020 election, as well as two other prosecutions , until after the upcoming presidential contest. If Trump defeats Mr. Biden in November, he could order the Justice Department to seek to drop the federal charges against him or issue a pardon for himself, though the constitutionality of that maneuver has not been tested.

In addition to the charges in Washington, Trump was indicted in South Florida for allegedly mishandling sensitive government documents after leaving the White House. He has pleaded not guilty to the 40 federal counts he faces there. Trump is also being prosecuted in Fulton County, Georgia, for allegedly attempting to overturn the results of the state's 2020 election and has pleaded not guilty to all state charges there.

The dispute over presidential immunity thrust the justices into a politically charged legal fight just months before the election. The former president has claimed he is being unfairly targeted in an effort to protect Mr. Biden, though there is no evidence the prosecution — brought by a special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland — is politically motivated.

It also was the second instance this term in which the Supreme Court decided a case with significant political or legal ramifications for Trump. In March, the high court unanimously ruled states cannot bar Trump from the ballot using an obscure provision of the 14th Amendment that prohibited former insurrectionists from holding public office.

Trump appointed three of the nine justices of the court, widening its conservative majority to 6-3. He had urged the Supreme Court to effectively rule that former presidents are insulated from accountability through the legal system. 

The Supreme Court heard arguments in Trump's appeal in late April and they were the last of its term. Arguments also took place alongside the historic, six-week criminal trial involving Trump that was held in New York, where a jury of 12 convicted him on 34 state felony counts of falsifying business records.

The landmark verdict made Trump the first former president found guilty of a crime. He has vowed to appeal , a process that could take months or even years to play out. Trump is set to be sentenced in Manhattan on July 11.

The proceedings involving Trump in his criminal cases have been unprecedented and, in the case related to the 2020 election, raised an issue that the Supreme Court had never confronted before. During oral arguments, the conservative justices seemed acutely aware that their ruling would apply to all future presidencies and were concerned of the possible ramifications for those who occupy the Oval Office in the years to come.

Trump's lawyers had urged the justices to reverse the lower court rulings that allowed his prosecution to proceed, including one from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that was unanimous. They argued that the unprecedented nature of the charges against Trump was evidence that presidents are broadly immune from criminal prosecution for official acts.

But Smith and his team of prosecutors had argued that no person is above the law, including former presidents. They said that Trump's alleged conduct was outside his official duties as president and part of a private scheme to remain in power. 

Melissa Quinn is a politics reporter for She has written for outlets including the Washington Examiner, Daily Signal and Alexandria Times. Melissa covers U.S. politics, with a focus on the Supreme Court and federal courts.

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What is an Evidentiary Hearing in Family Court?

Table of Contents

Family court handles a wide range of issues related to family legal matters such as divorce, child custody, child support, and more. During the course of a family court case, there may be disputes or conflicting information that require further examination before a judge can make a ruling. This is when the court may hold an evidentiary hearing.

Understanding Evidentiary Hearings

An evidentiary hearing is a legal proceeding held before a judge to allow parties to present evidence and resolve factual disputes related to the case. It provides an opportunity for both parties to call witnesses, submit documents and records, and give testimony relevant to the disputed issues under consideration.

The evidence and information presented during the hearing allows the judge to gain a clearer understanding of the facts needed to make a ruling consistent with the law and in the interests of justice. Evidentiary hearings are a key component of due process in the court system.

Purpose of Evidentiary Hearings

There are several reasons why a family court may hold an evidentiary hearing:

To Resolve Factual Disputes

For example, in a child custody case there could be conflicting accounts about one parent’s parenting skills and involvement with the child. An evidentiary hearing would allow witnesses and documentation to provide clarity on the disputed facts.

To Weigh Evidence

Judges must also consider the strength, reliability, and relevance of the evidence presented. Not all evidence holds the same weight, so the evidentiary hearing provides an opportunity for the judge to directly see and hear the evidence in order to evaluate it appropriately.

To Decide Motions

Certain motions filed by parties during litigation, such as a motion to compel discovery or modify support payments, may require an evidentiary hearing to settle the matter. Each side will have the chance to argue their position and justification for the motion being granted or denied by the court.

When Evidentiary Hearings Are Used

The hearing may be limited to certain aspects of the case that pertain to the disputes at hand and require additional fact-finding by the judge.

How Evidentiary Hearings Work

1. opening statements.

Each side has the opportunity to provide an opening statement that summarizes the issues in dispute and previews the key evidence they will present. This helps frame the scope of the hearing for the judge.

2. Presenting Evidence

3. closing arguments.

Once all evidence is presented, each side makes a closing argument to summarize their position and important points for the judge to consider in making a ruling. The petitioner goes first, followed by the respondent.

4. Issuing a Ruling

In some cases, the judge may issue a decision immediately after closing arguments if they feel prepared to make a ruling. Other times, the judge may take time to thoroughly review the evidence before providing a final judgment on the disputed matters.

Types of Evidence in Family Court Hearings

Questioning witnesses in evidentiary hearings.

Judges typically allow wide latitude in questioning witnesses to shed light on disputed facts, but may limit or exclude irrelevant questioning. Hearsay evidence – secondhand statements not directly heard by the witness – is also generally inadmissible during the proceedings.

Experts such as doctors, psychologists, or financial analysts may provide testimony related to their evaluations and opinions on issues in dispute as well. However, the judge determines whether to qualify a witness as an expert.

Why Are Evidentiary Hearings Important?

Evidentiary hearings ultimately promote justice in family law cases where two sides may genuinely disagree over factual issues that must be resolved to move forward. While they require time and resources, thorough evidence-based proceedings lead to greater accuracy in rulings and better adherence to the law.

Preparing for an Evidentiary Hearing

Going through an evidentiary hearing can be a stressful and emotional experience for parties in family court cases. Being prepared helps ensure the process goes smoothly and parties have the chance to present their case fairly and accurately. Steps for preparing include:

Gather Documents and Records

Line up witnesses, know rules of evidence.

Understand the basic evidentiary rules in your jurisdiction so evidence presented aligns with established standards. Hearsay, unsupported opinions, and irrelevant facts may be prohibited or limited.

Confer with Your Lawyer

Practice testifying, organize exhibits.

Have all documents labeled clearly and logically so they can be identified and referenced easily during the hearing. Keep originals safe from damage or loss.

What Happens After the Hearing?

Once all evidence is presented and the hearing concludes, one of two outcomes will occur:

Immediate Ruling

If the issues are relatively straight forward or the judge feels prepared, they may make a verbal ruling on the disputed matters immediately after closing arguments. This oral judgment on the record will then be enforceable pending the final written order.

Written Order Issued Later

Key takeaways, frequently asked questions, do both parties have to agree to an evidentiary hearing.

No, either party can request an evidentiary hearing and the judge can order one even if only one party wants it. The court may decide it is warranted based on the issues in dispute.

Can new evidence be presented after the evidentiary hearing concludes?

Is a lawyer required for an evidentiary hearing, what happens if you miss or walk out of an evidentiary hearing.

The hearing will typically proceed without you and may result in rulings against your interests. Judges can hold parties in contempt if they intentionally skip out on hearings.

Can evidentiary hearings be open to the public?

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The Supreme Court says cities can punish people for sleeping in public places

Jennifer Ludden at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)

Jennifer Ludden

U.S. Supreme Court says cities can punish people for sleeping in public places

A homeless person walks near an elementary school in Grants Pass, Ore., on March 23. The rural city became the unlikely face of the nation's homelessness crisis when it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold its anti-camping laws.

A homeless person walks near an elementary school in Grants Pass, Ore., on March 23. The rural city became the unlikely face of the nation's homelessness crisis when it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold its anti-camping laws. Jenny Kane/AP hide caption

In its biggest decision on homelessness in decades, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that cities can ban people from sleeping and camping in public places. The justices, in a 6-3 decision along ideological lines, overturned lower court rulings that deemed it cruel and unusual under the Eighth Amendment to punish people for sleeping outside if they had nowhere else to go.

Writing for the majority, Justice Gorsuch said, “Homelessness is complex. Its causes are many.” But he said federal judges do not have any “special competence” to decide how cities should deal with this.

“The Constitution’s Eighth Amendment serves many important functions, but it does not authorize federal judges to wrest those rights and responsibilities from the American people and in their place dictate this Nation’s homelessness policy,” he wrote.

In a dissent, Justice Sotomayor said the decision focused only on the needs of cities but not the most vulnerable. She said sleep is a biological necessity, but this decision leaves a homeless person with “an impossible choice — either stay awake or be arrested.”

The court's decision is a win not only for the small Oregon city of Grants Pass, which brought the case, but also for dozens of Western localities that had urged the high court to grant them more enforcement powers as they grapple with record high rates of homelessness. They said the lower court rulings had tied their hands in trying to keep public spaces open and safe for everyone.

Supreme Court appears to side with an Oregon city's crackdown on homelessness

Supreme Court appears to side with an Oregon city's crackdown on homelessness

But advocates for the unhoused say the decision won’t solve the bigger problem, and could make life much harder for the quarter of a million people living on streets, in parks and in their cars. “Where do people experiencing homelessness go if every community decides to punish them for their homelessness?” says Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Today’s ruling only changes current law in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes California and eight other Western states where the bulk of America’s unhoused population lives. But it will also determine whether similar policies elsewhere are permissible; and it will almost certainly influence homelessness policy in cities around the country.

Cities complained they were hamstrung in managing a public safety crisis

Grants Pass and other cities argued that lower court rulings fueled the spread of homeless encampments, endangering public health and safety. Those decisions did allow cities to restrict when and where people could sleep and even to shut down encampments – but they said cities first had to offer people adequate shelter.

That’s a challenge in many places that don’t have nearly enough shelter beds. In briefs filed by local officials, cities and town also expressed frustration that many unhoused people reject shelter when it is available; they may not want to go if a facility bans pets, for example, or prohibits drugs and alcohol.

Critics also said lower court rulings were ambiguous, making them unworkable in practice. Localities have faced dozens of lawsuits over the details of what’s allowed. And they argued that homelessness is a complex problem that requires balancing competing interests, something local officials are better equipped to do than the courts.

"We are trying to show there's respect for the public areas that we all need to have," Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison told NPR earlier this year. She wrote a legal brief on behalf of more than a dozen other cities. "We care for people, and we're engaging and being involved in the long-term solution for them."

The decision will not solve the larger problem of rising homelessness

Attorneys for homeless people in Grants Pass argued that the city’s regulations were so sweeping, they effectively made it illegal for someone without a home to exist. To discourage sleeping in public spaces, the city banned the use of stoves and sleeping bags, pillows or other bedding. But Grants Pass has no public shelter, only a Christian mission that imposes various restrictions and requires people to attend religious service.

"It's sort of the bare minimum in what a just society should expect, is that you're not going to punish someone for something they have no ability to control," said Ed Johnson of the Oregon Law Center, which represents those who sued the city.

He also said saddling people with fines and a criminal record makes it even harder for them to eventually get into housing.

Johnson and other advocates say today’s decision won’t change the core problem behind rising homelessness: a severe housing shortage, and rents that have become unaffordable for a record half of all tenants. The only real solution, they say, is to create lots more housing people can afford – and that will take years.

  • homelessness
  • Supreme Court

In historic ruling on presidential immunity, Supreme Court says Trump can be tried for private acts

what is a review hearing in family court

WASHINGTON − The Supreme Court ruled Monday that former President Donald Trump can be tried for any of his efforts to overturn his 2020 loss that were not taken in his official capacity, a decision that likely came too late for a trial to be completed before Election Day.

Deciding for the first time whether presidents are immune from criminal prosecution, a divided Supreme Court said “official” acts taken by a president are protected but not steps he took as a candidate.

“The parties before us do not dispute that a former President can be subject to criminal prosecution for unofficial acts committed while in office,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the 6-3 majority that divided along ideological lines. “They also agree that some of the conduct described in the indictment includes actions taken by Trump in his unofficial capacity.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in a dissent joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, said the majority’s decision “makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of Government, that no man is above the law.”

Sotomayor said the court gave Trump “all the immunity he asked for and more.”

"With fear for our democracy, I dissent," she wrote.

Roberts criticized the dissenters for doomsaying rather than acknowledging the lower courts will determine whether Trump’s conduct is vulnerable to criminal charges.

“As for the dissents, they strike a tone of chilling doom that is wholly disproportionate to what the Court actually does today – conclude that immunity extends to official discussions between the President and his Attorney General, and then remand to the lower courts to determine ‘in the first instance’ whether and to what extent Trump’s remaining alleged conduct is entitled to immunity,” Roberts wrote.

Trump, on Truth Social , called the decision a “BIG WIN FOR OUR CONSTITUTION AND DEMOCRACY.”

The case was a crucial test for the court and its six conservative justices, half of whom were appointed by Trump.

The time it took the high court to issue its opinion leaves a tight timeline to hold a trial that was originally scheduled for March. If Trump wins the election in November , he could order the Justice Department to dismiss any federal case against him. Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith indicted Trump last August on four charges, to which he has  pleaded not guilty.

Trump is accused of trying to steal the 2020 election by spreading lies about election fraud and attempting to persuade state officials, his vice president and Congress to prevent the certification of the legitimate results. 

Trump, the first president – former or current – to be criminally charged, argued he can't be prosecuted for actions he took in his official capacity during his administration, an extension of the reasoning the Supreme Court used in 1982 when it barred civil suits against a president for official actions. Otherwise, Trump's attorneys argued, the threat of future prosecution and imprisonment would destroy the strength and authority of the presidency by subjecting them to politically motivated prosecutions.

Roberts said presidents are not above the law.

“But under our system of separated powers, the President may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers, and he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for his official acts,” he wrote. “That immunity applies equally to all occupants of the Oval Office.”

A New York jury in May found Trump guilty of falsifying business records to hide a hush money payment to porn star  Stormy Daniels  ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The state judge had  rejected Trump’s effort to delay that trial  until the Supreme Court ruled on the immunity question.

Trump also has claimed immunity in his federal case in Florida for allegedly hoarding classified documents after leaving the White House and in his election interference case in Georgia.

'Deeply disturbing'

David Becker, a former senior trial attorney in the voting section of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, called the high court's decision “deeply disturbing” and “really striking” for what it would allow a president to do in office and remain unchallenged criminally.

Presidents, he said, would have immunity from interactions with an attorney general, even if that means pressuring him to change election results or ordering SEAL Team 6 to kill a political opponent.

“The way I read this opinion is it could be a road map for (presidents) seeking to stay in power,” Becker said. “It could put into question whether or not future peaceful transfers of power occur.”

Robert Mintz, an expert on white collar criminal defense at McCarter & English, said the decision created more heat than light.

“Rather than finding either clear immunity or no immunity for alleged criminal conduct, this new standard will unquestionably lead to protracted hearings and further appeals as the lower courts have to now grapple with the question of which allegations in the indictment constitute official acts,” Mintz said.

First ruling on criminal immunity

In January, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Trump's claim of absolute immunity . But the Supreme Court stepped in to decide for the first time if there are barriers to the criminal prosecutions of presidents.

The court had previously said presidents are immune from civil lawsuits for official actions taken while president, though not from lawsuits tied to their personal behavior. 

Smith, the special counsel, argued presidents can still function effectively without criminal immunity, a protection he said neither the framers of the Constitution nor any other president contemplated.

And even if a former president has some immunity, Smith said, trying to thwart the peaceful transfer of power is a perfect example of conduct that should not be protected from prosecution.

During more than 2½ hours of oral arguments in April, several conservative justices signaled they were more focused on how a ruling would affect future presidents than − as Justice Brett Kavanaugh put it − the "here and now of this case."

“We’re writing a rule for the ages,” said Justice Neil Gorsuch.

But Justice Amy Coney Barrett got Trump's lawyer to concede that the private acts of presidents aren't protected from prosecution − and that some of the alleged conduct included in the indictment is private.

For example, Barrett asked whether directing lawyers to submit fraudulent slates of electors to obstruct the certification of the election − if proven − would be official or private.

“That’s private,” Sauer said.

Decision took time

The Supreme Court has decided other high-profile cases much faster than Trump’s immunity claim.

Smith asked the court to reject the claim quickly in December after U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled Trump must stand trial. But instead the high court waited for the D.C. Circuit to also rule that Trump isn’t immune.

In contrast, the Supreme Court allowed Trump’s name to remain on the Colorado primary ballot less than a month after hearing arguments about removing it because of his role in the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021.

And in 1974, the court ordered President Richard Nixon to turn over secret tapes of White House conversations 16 days after hearing arguments.

Alito, Thomas did not recuse

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas rejected calls from Democrats that they recuse themselves from deciding the case.

Alito's wife, Martha-Ann Alito, flew flags over the couple's homes that were adopted by some Trump supporters trying to overturn the 2020 election results.

Thomas' wife, Virginia  “Ginni” Thomas, has argued repeatedly  that the 2020 election was stolen and attended Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021.

Thomas, in an opinion agreeing with Roberts, seemed to question whether Smith is a legitimate prosecutor for the case.

“If this unprecedented prosecution is to proceed, it must be conducted by someone duly authorized to do so by the American people,” Thomas wrote. “The lower courts should thus answer these essential questions concerning the Special Counsel’s appointment before proceeding.”

The case is Trump v. United States.

Family Court

Definition of family court, types of family court cases.

When a married couple decides to end their relationship, they must go through the legal process of divorce, also referred to as “ dissolution of marriage .” Each state has specific requirements that must be met before a couple can be divorced. These often include a residence requirement in which the couple must have resided in that state for a specified minimum period of time. Most states also require that the couple be separated for a minimum period of time before a divorce will be granted.

Distribution of Marital Property

Spousal support, child custody.

Visitation refers to the amount of time and schedule during which the non-custodial parent will spend with the children. If the court determines that the non- custodial parent cannot be trusted to properly care for the children during visitation, he or she may be awarded only daytime visitation, or supervised visitation. This ensures the parent is able to spend time with the children, while protecting the children and ensuring they are cared for. In extreme cases, an unfit parent may be denied visitation, or the children may be removed to third party custody if both parents are unfit.

Child Support

Guardianship, domestic violence, domestic violence restraining order, related legal terms and issues.

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Judicial Review Hearing


Judicial reviews, although not statutorily required, can be helpful and are encouraged in monitoring the compliance or non-compliance of parties in the case and in modifying plans as needed. In addition, this hearing can be used to correct, adjust and update the placement plan and return the child home, if appropriate.

§ 63-7-1670(C)(1). Treatment plan. § 63-7-1700(J),(K). Permanency planning. § 63-7-2580(A). Permanency of order.

  • To determine whether parties, including DSS, are in compliance with previous orders and reasonable efforts.
  • To serve as a request to the court for modifications to the placement plan based upon change of circumstances or new information obtained.
  • To serve as a court explanation to any party that is not in compliance with previously issued orders and to reiterate the consequences of non-compliance.
  • To review the progress of the implementation of a plan for permanent placement following TPR. § 63-7-2580(A).
  • if this is a highly contested case; or
  • if the permanent plan is TPR.
  • if placement plan needs modification due to unavailable services or referrals;
  • if additional services are needed by parent or child; or
  • to reiterate consequences of non-compliance if a party is slow to comply or not complying with placement plan.
  • Prior to the initial permanency planning hearing, best practices are to schedule reviews in each case at 90 day intervals.

Judicial review is also available to a party who has exhausted all administrative remedies available within the agency and who is aggrieved by a final decision in a contested case.

  • § 1-23-380. Judicial review upon exhaustion of administrative remedies.
  • § 63-7-1440. Judicial review. An appellant seeking judicial review shall file a petition in the family court within 30 days after the final decision of DSS. The appellant shall serve a copy of the petition upon DSS. The family court shall conduct a judicial review in accordance with the standards of review provided for in § 1-23-380. The court may enter judgment upon the pleadings and a certified transcript of the record which must include the evidence upon which the findings and decisions appealed are based. The judgment must include a determination of whether the decision of DSS that a preponderance of evidence shows that the appellant abused or neglected the child should be affirmed or reversed. The appellant is not entitled to a trial de novo in the family court. 

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If you and the other party are not able to settle your issues and reach a full agreement, the judge will have to set an “Evidentiary Hearing” or a “Trial.” If the judge sets an evidentiary hearing or a trial in your case, visit this page to learn how to prepare, documents to file, and what to expect.

What is the Difference Between an Evidentiary Hearing and a Trial?

An “evidentiary hearing” is when the judge makes a final decision about one part of the case. For instance, the judge may set an evidentiary hearing to decide final child custody issues. A “trial” on the other hand, is a final hearing where the judge will decide all remaining issues and grant a final divorce.

At both a trial and an evidentiary hearing, both sides are expected to present witnesses and evidence to support each person’s view of the case. Find out more about each stage of the trial phase:

Workshop bw

 Learn the basics

Trials are very different than the other kinds of court hearings you may have handled by yourself.  There are a lot of rules and requirements the judge will expect you to know and follow.

Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada has a free class that teaches the basics of litigation and how to get ready for a trial.  They offer a free online class once a month where an attorney explains the basics. You can sign up online at the  Litigation and Trial Preparation Class  signup page.

If you cannot attend the class, you can watch a pre-recorded version of the class below.

 Preparing for Trial

Discovery is the process that allows each party to get information to build their case. The purpose of discovery is to make sure that you and the other party know what documents and witnesses the other side will be presenting at trial.

There are many different discovery tools.  Because each case is different, there is no standard way to do discovery. You may need to consult with an attorney for assistance in understanding and conducting your own discovery.  A short description of different discovery tools and forms to help are below.  

If you are served with discovery requests, do not ignore them!  There are strict deadlines for you to respond.  If you do not respond, you risk having facts deemed as admitted or the other party can file a Motion to Compel and bring you before the judge for non-compliance.  Do your best to respond to the discovery requests - forms to help you file answers/responses are below.  If you do not know how to respond to discovery requests, it is best to seek legal advice. 

Subpoenas : This is a request for someone who is not a party in the case to provide documents or appear in person and testify. It must be issued by the Clerk of Court to be valid and must be served to the person named in the subpoena and also the other party.

Subpoena - Testimony Only (pdf)

Subpoena - Deposition with Records (pdf)   Subpoena - Business Records Only (pdf)

Interrogatories : These are written questions to the other party that must be answered under oath.

Interrogatories (pdf fillable)

Answers to Interrogatories (pdf fillable)

Requests for Production of Documents : This is a request to the other party to provide documents or other tangible things.

Request for Production of Documents (pdf fillable)

Response to Request for Production of Documents (pdf fillable)

Requests for Admissions : These are requests asking the other party to admit or deny specific facts.

Request for Admissions (pdf fillable)

Answers to Request for Admissions (pdf fillable)

Depositions : A potential witness is questioned under oath in the presence of both parties, their attorneys, and a court reporter. The judge is not present, but a transcript of the deposition may be presented at trial.

Disclosing Your Witnesses and Exhibits

You will need to decide what documents you want to present at trial and what witnesses you want to testify, then you have to disclose that information to the other party.

There are deadlines to disclose your list of witnesses and exhibits. The judge probably set these deadlines in the Order Setting Trial – check the order to find any deadlines for your case. If you do not disclose your list of witnesses and documents by the deadline, you may not be allowed to use them at trial.

Witness List (pdf fillable)

Plaintiff's Trial Exhibit List (pdf fillable)  

Defendant's Trial Exhibit List (pdf fillable)

Special instructions for exhibits: Send a copy of the exhibits listed in the form to the other party, but do not attach them to the form when you file.  You will need to submit your exhibits to the judge just prior to your trial date.  Most judges prefer you submit your exhibits through a separate electronic portal, but sometimes the judge will want you to bring binders with hard copies of the exhibits.  Check with your judge's staff to find out the specific instructions for providing them to the judge. 

Your Pre-Trial Memorandum and Financial Disclosure Form

The judge will probably order you to file a Pre-Trial Memorandum (the judge may also call it a "Pre-Hearing Brief"). This is a summary of the arguments you plan to present at trial. You must file the Pretrial Memorandum by the judge’s deadline and serve it on the other party. Usually, you must also file an updated Financial Disclosure Form if property or financial issues will be decided at the hearing.

Pre-Trial Memorandum (pdf fillable)

Financial Disclosure Form (pdf)   Financial Disclosure Form (pdf fillable)

 The Trial

On the day of your trial, arrive early to the courthouse so you have enough time to park, get through security, and get to the courtroom before your case is called. Bring copies of all the documents that you plan to use at trial.

Opening Statments.   The judge may allow each side to give an “opening statement.” This is a brief summary of the case you intend to present. Do not argue with the other side or offer any witnesses or documents at this point. This is just a chance for you to give a short statement of your case.

Witnesses.  The “moving party” – or the person who is trying to convince the judge what orders should be issued – will call witnesses. If there is no “moving party” the Plaintiff will call witnesses first. The person who calls the witness to the stand will be able to ask questions first. When that person is done, the other party can ask questions through “cross-examination.” Cross-examination is used to poke holes in the witness’s testimony or discredit the witness. After cross-examination, the party that called the witness gets to ask any final questions, and then the other party is given one last chance to cross-examine.  Once the moving party has questioned all of their witnesses, the other party calls their witnesses and the process above will repeat.

Closing Statements .  After all of the witnesses have testifed, the judge may ask each party to give a “closing statement.” This is a final summary of the evidence that was presented at trial and why the judge should rule in favor of that person.

Decision.   The judge will consider all of the evidence presented and make a decision. The judge may tell you the decision immediately in court, or the judge may want to think about the evidence for a while and write up a written decision later.

 After the Trial

After the judge makes a decision, the decision is not enforceable until is it written and signed into an official order. The judge might write the order, or the judge might pick one party to “prepare the order” from the hearing. It is that person’s responsibility to prepare the written order from the hearing, submit it to the judge for review, and send a copy of the signed, filed order to the other party.

If the judge granted a divorce at the trial, see Getting the Final Divorce Decree  for information on how to prepare a Decree of Divorce.  If the judge did not grant a divorce as part of the order, you can use the following forms to get the judge’s order entered in writing.

Order After Hearing - With Children (word fillable)

Order After Hearing - With Children (both parties sign) (pdf)

Order After Hearing - With Children (one party signs) (pdf)

Order After Hearing - No Children (word fillable)

Order After Hearing - No Children (both parties sign) (pdf)

Order After Hearing - No Children (one party signs) (pdf)

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Supreme Court's immunity ruling will delay Trump's Jan. 6 case until after the election

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court's presidential immunity decision will further delay former President Donald Trump's Washington criminal case related to his efforts to stop the transfer of power in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol , virtually guaranteeing that Trump's trial won't start before Election Day.

Instead, the high court's ruling sets the stage for hearings before U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on what allegations in special counsel Jack Smith's indictment should be considered official acts and, therefore, potentially immune from prosecution. Her ultimate decisions could then be subjected to further appeal, meaning that a Trump trial is unlikely to happen until well into 2025. If Trump wins in November, a trial is unlikely to happen at all.

The conservative majority ruled in a 6-3 opinion that Trump is entitled to absolute immunity for core presidential functions and "at least a presumptive immunity from criminal prosecution" for acts "within the outer perimeter of his official responsibility." He is not entitled to any immunity for unofficial acts, the court said, but the burden is on the government to rebut Trump’s presumption of immunity when there's a close call on those outer perimeters.

The court’s three liberal justices said the conservative majority’s decision “ will have disastrous consequences “ for the United States.

The majority decision said that Chutkan must decide whether the indictment could be supported after removing allegations for which Trump can’t be charged, like his dealings with the Justice Department. Additionally, the majority said that lower courts “may not inquire into the President’s motives” when dividing up official and unofficial conduct.

Smith's team is likely to argue that all of the charges against Trump can stand even with the elimination of the allegations about his efforts to use the Justice Department's power to overturn his election loss.

Regardless of that outcome, the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday virtually guarantees that there will be no criminal accountability for Trump’s attempts to stop the transfer of power before the presidential election in November, before Congress certifies that election result on Jan. 6, 2025, or before the next presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 2025.U.S. v. Trump has been pending in federal court in Washington for 11 months, since Trump was indicted on Aug. 1, 2023. The case was originally supposed to go to trial this past March, and a jury would have almost certainly returned a verdict by now had the Trump case proceeded on Chutkan’s original schedule. Instead, the case was delayed as it made its way through the federal appeals court process and the Supreme Court.

But Chutkan could quickly set a briefing and hearing schedule in the case that would allow for evidentiary hearings that may shine additional light on what Vice President Mike Pence and Trump appointees said about his efforts to stay in power by boosting false claims of fraud after he lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.

"At least that is a way for the public to hear additional evidence from the likes of former Vice President Pence, from prior general counsels and White House counsels who worked for the White House under President Trump," Andrew Weissmann, a former federal prosecutor who worked on Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation and MSNBC legal analyst, said Monday.

"The allegations with respect to the Department of Justice are off the table, the president, or former president, has been found absolutely immune, which is a really scary thought," Weissmann said Monday. "Just think about that: The president's interactions with the Department of Justice are absolutely immune? Terrifying decision."

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his majority opinion, wrote that distinguishing a president’s official actions from his unofficial actions "can be difficult," and said the analysis is "best left to the lower courts to perform in the first instance." Here's a breakdown of the guidance the court's conservative majority offered for Chutkan to consider.

Trump is 'absolutely' immune from prosecution for his dealings with DOJ

The conservative majority ruled that Trump's interactions with his Justice Department officials as he sought to overturn the 2020 election results and pushed for official investigations into his unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud were "absolutely" immune from prosecution, though the indictment alleged that Trump was using his official power for his own personal interests, not those of the country.

“Certain allegations — such as those involving Trump’s discussions with the Acting Attorney General — are readily categorized in light of the nature of the President’s official relationship to the office held by that individual,” the conservative majority found.

"The indictment’s allegations that the requested investigations were shams or proposed for an improper purpose do not divest the President of exclusive authority over the investigative and prosecutorial functions of the Justice Department and its officials," the majority ruled. "Because the President cannot be prosecuted for conduct within his exclusive constitutional authority, Trump is absolutely immune from prosecution for the alleged conduct involving his discussions with Justice Department officials."

Trump's interactions with Pence, state officials and private parties pose 'difficult questions'

The Supreme Court said that Trump's interactions with Pence, Trump's pressure campaign on state officials , his communications with private parties and his public comments "present more difficult questions" when it comes to immunity. Mostly, though, the conservative majority left those questions for the lower courts to answer, following the guidance it laid out in its opinion.

"Although we identify several considerations pertinent to classifying those allegations and determining whether they are subject to immunity, that analysis ultimately is best left to the lower courts to perform in the first instance," Roberts wrote.

OK, what about the Pence pressure campaign specifically?

Trump endeavored to enlist Pence "to use his ceremonial role at the January 6 certification proceeding to fraudulently alter the election results," according to Smith's indictment. The discussions about official responsibilities between Pence and Trump were "official conduct," the court said, including discussions of the Jan. 6 certification process, so Trump would enjoy a presumption of immunity under their ruling.

The burden will be on Smith's team to "rebut the presumption of immunity," Roberts wrote for the majority. "We therefore remand to the District Court to assess in the first instance, with appropriate input from the parties, whether a prosecution involving Trump’s alleged attempts to influence the Vice President’s oversight of the certification proceeding in his capacity as President of the Senate would pose any dangers of intrusion on the authority and functions of the Executive Branch."

What about Trump's communications with state officials?

Whether Trump's attempts to get officials in Georgia and other states to overturn the election results in his favor constitute official actions requires a "close analysis" of the indictment against him, the court ruled.

"Unlike Trump’s alleged interactions with the Justice Department, this alleged conduct cannot be neatly categorized as falling within a particular Presidential function. The necessary analysis is instead fact specific, requiring assessment of numerous alleged interactions with a wide variety of state officials and private persons," Roberts wrote for the majority.

Roberts noted that the government and Trump's legal team "starkly disagree on the characterization of these allegations," as demonstrated during oral arguments, and that additional arguments should play out in Chutkan's court.

"The concerns we noted at the outset — the expedition of this case, the lack of factual analysis by the lower courts, and the absence of pertinent briefing by the parties — thus become more prominent. We accordingly remand to the District Court to determine in the first instance — with the benefit of briefing we lack — whether Trump’s conduct in this area qualifies as official or unofficial," they ruled.

And Trump's tweets?

Trump's spreading lies about the election through tweets and public addresses is "likely to fall comfortably within the outer perimeter of his official responsibilities," the majority ruled, though it said there may be "contexts in which the President speaks in an unofficial capacity — perhaps as a candidate for office or party leader."

The majority said that Chutkan will need to "determine in the first instance whether this alleged conduct is official or unofficial," indicating that those initial decisions by Chutkan could be subject to additional review.

"On remand, the District Court must carefully analyze the indictment’s remaining allegations to determine whether they too involve conduct for which a President must be immune from prosecution," the majority ruled. "And the parties and the District Court must ensure that sufficient allegations support the indictment’s charges without such conduct. Testimony or private records of the President or his advisers probing such conduct may not be admitted as evidence at trial."

What about Trump's actions on Jan. 6?

While the president has the power of the bully pulpit and is free to speak "forcefully or critically, in ways that the President believes would advance the public interest," there might be contexts in which he speaks in an unofficial capacity, the majority ruled. Drawing the line here, the court said, "may prove to be challenging" and requires a fact-specific analysis.

Whether Trump's tweets in the lead-up to and on Jan. 6, 2021, his speech that morning urging supporters to march to the Capitol and his "other communications on January 6 involve official conduct may depend on the content and context of each," the court ruled. "Knowing, for instance, what else was said contemporaneous to the excerpted communications, or who was involved in transmitting the electronic communications and in organizing the rally, could be relevant to the classification of each communication."

"This necessarily factbound analysis is best performed initially by the District Court," the majority continued. "We therefore remand to the District Court to determine in the first instance whether this alleged conduct is official or unofficial."

Jack Smith's team can still rely upon public evidence at trial

The Supreme Court held if a certain allegation in the indictment is determined to be an “official act,” prosecutors cannot introduce “testimony or private records of the President probing the official act itself."

However, the court left a path for prosecutors to show jurors evidence of official acts if, and only if, that evidence can be found in the public record.

“The prosecutor may point to the public record to show the fact that the President performed the official act,” Roberts wrote. “And the prosecutor may admit evidence of what the President allegedly demanded, received, accepted, or agreed to receive or accept in return for being influenced in the performance of the act.”

So if there is video of Trump speaking to the media or otherwise discussing any of the overt acts that are included in the indictment, those statements could be introduced as evidence, whether they are official or not. What prosecutors would not be able to do is put someone like former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows or another presidential adviser on the witness stand and have them tell jurors about their official discussions with Trump or what his motives may have been in taking any official action. 

Overall, that language will give prosecutors a way to show jurors the context in which indicted unofficial acts were taken, even if Trump can't be charged for the official conduct itself.

what is a review hearing in family court

Ryan J. Reilly is a justice reporter for NBC News.

Daniel Barnes reports for NBC News, based in Washington.

what is a review hearing in family court

Lawrence Hurley covers the Supreme Court for NBC News.

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Questions Asked at a Child Custody Hearing

  • Financial Status
  • Type of Arrangement
  • Communication With Other Parent
  • Existing Arrangements

In a child custody battle , a judge will ask several questions to determine which child custody arrangement , sole or joint custody, will work best for the children involved. Primarily, a judge's main concern is the best interests of the child .

The judge will ask a parent several questions during a child custody hearing to determine which custody arrangement serves the child's best interest. Here are some questions that a judge may ask during a child custody hearing:

What Is Your Financial Status?

A judge will inquire into a parent's financial status and financial resources because a court has to ensure that a parent is capable of caring for a child's vital financial needs such as food and shelter. Additionally, child support may be determined in the same hearing or a child support hearing may rely on information used in the child custody hearing .

In order to determine child support , whether a sole or joint custody arrangement, a judge will need to determine a parent's income. You should be prepared to provide evidence of your income to the court. The judge will also take other financial obligations, such as debt or other children, that you may have into account when making their decision. 

What Type of Custody Arrangement Are You Seeking?

During a child custody hearing, a judge will ask about the type of custody the parent is seeking. There are several different types of custody arrangements including sole or joint custody. A court will usually prefer a joint custody arrangement, as it serves the best interests of the child.   It allows the child to maintain close contact with both parents.

If a parent is seeking sole custody , he/she should be prepared to present evidence of why the child's other parent should not have custody of the child.

How Is Communication With the Other Parent?

During a child custody hearing, most judges prefer to give both parents custody, as the court assumes that spending time with both parents serves the best interests of the child. In order to grant both parents custody of the child, a judge will probably ask about the parents' level of communication with one another.

In a joint custody arrangement, parents will need to communicate about decisions that affect a child's day to day life. The courts want to help ensure that each parent can play an active role in their child's life. 

Do You Have Any Existing Arrangements?

A judge may ask about your current custody arrangement (formal or informal) and inquire into which parts of the current arrangement are not working.   During a child custody hearing, it is important for a judge to understand the parents' arrangement because the court does not want to interfere with a custody arrangement that seems to be working.

For more information about child custody proceedings, speak with a qualified attorney in your state, or refer to the child custody laws in your state.

American Bar Association. A judge's guide: Making child-centered decisions in custody cases. Second edition .

Bastaits K, Pasteels I. Is joint physical custody in the best interests of the child? Parent-child relationships and custodial arrangements . J Soc Pers Relat . 2019;36(11-12):3752-3772. doi:10.1177/0265407519838071

By Debrina Washington Debrina Washington is a New York-based family law attorney and writer, who runs her own virtual practice to assist single parents with legal issues.

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San Diego County to pay nearly $15M to family of pregnant woman who died in jail 5 years ago

what is a review hearing in family court

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego County will pay nearly $15 million to settle a lawsuit by the family of a 24-year-old pregnant woman who died in jail after a sheriff’s deputy and medical worker watched her collapse in a cell five years ago. The settlement between the county and relatives of Elisa Serna comes just weeks before the case was set to go to trial. The deal has been confirmed by the judge overseeing the federal lawsuit. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Tuesday that the settlement calls for the sheriff’s department to conduct new training for deputies and jail medical staff. It also allows the judge to monitor the department’s compliance with its agreement.

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Supreme Court Will Hear Challenge to Tennessee Law Banning Transition Care for Minors

The move comes as states around the country have pushed to curtail transgender rights.

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The front of the Supreme Court as seen through trees and set against a blue sky.

By Abbie VanSickle

Reporting from Washington

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to consider a Tennessee law that bans certain medical treatments for transgender minors, the first time the justices will decide on the constitutionality of such statewide bans.

The move could have broad ramifications for about 25 states that have enacted similar measures. Republican-led state legislatures have pushed to curtail transgender rights in recent years, with laws that target gender-transition care and that regulate other parts of life, including which bathrooms students and others can use and which sports teams they can play on.

The case, United States v. Skrmetti , will be heard in the court’s next term, which typically begins on the first Monday in October, though no date has been set yet for oral argument. The justices had considered whether to hear two challenges to transition care, including the Tennessee appeal and one centered on a Kentucky law, at their private conference each week. But they had repeatedly postponed making a decision, suggesting there might have been debate over whether to do so.

The court’s decision to take up the case signals a willingness by at least some of the justices to delve into yet another polarizing social issue, even as they have yet to rule on some of the biggest cases for this term, involving emergency abortion care, disinformation on social media and the scope of presidential power.

The Biden administration and a number of legal advocacy groups representing transgender youths had asked the court to intervene after a federal appeals court upheld the ban. In Tennessee, the law prohibits three types of transgender medical care for minors — puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and gender-transition surgeries.

The administration has argued that the law violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment because it “frames that prohibition in explicitly sex-based terms.” Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar, in the government’s petition to the court, identified what she viewed as a disparity in the state’s approach, saying that even as Tennessee bans transgender medical care, it “leaves the same treatments entirely unrestricted if they are prescribed for any other purpose.”

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  1. What is a Review Hearing in Family Court?

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  1. What is a Review Hearing in Family Court?

    A review hearing, also known as a status hearing, is a common proceeding that takes place in family court. The purpose of a review hearing is for the judge to review the status of a case and make any necessary rulings or changes to orders. Review hearings are held at regular intervals, usually every 3-6 months, to provide ongoing oversight and ...

  2. Review Hearing at Court

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  3. What to Expect During Child Custody Proceedings

    Be Ready for Multiple Testimonies. During a child custody proceeding, the following parties will speak: Child (if the child is of an age to make an informed decision) Parents. Witnesses (including workers, school officials, etc.) The parties will testify about their experiences with the child and the parents.

  4. What is a six month Review Hearing?

    Every family court Order, whether it is a divorce, custody or parenting time case, that deals with parenting time, legal custody, physical custody or child support has forms attached to it. ... The six month Review Hearings must be completed and filed with Court Administration, which schedules a Review Hearing for the parents and the judge ...

  5. Custody Review Hearing

    Family law attorney Scott Allen handles thee kinds of cases every day and has over twenty-eight years of experience. If you have questions or need assistance call him at (919) 863-4183 or email at [email protected] . A custody review hearing is an important part of the courts' strategy in certain kinds custody cases where teh court is ...

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  7. Family Law Self-Help Center

    An "evidentiary hearing" is a hearing where the judge makes a final decision about one part of the case. A "trial," on the other hand, is a final hearing where the judge will decide all remaining issues and grant a final order. In custody cases, usually the terms "trial" and "evidentiary hearing" mean the same thing since they both ...

  8. California Divorce Hearings

    5. Review hearings. Sometimes, a court will make orders and then set a review hearing to review the orders and determine how the situation progresses between the spouses. This is most common in child custody and visitation cases where an initial order limits a parent's time but the court or one or both spouses expect that time to increase. 6.

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  11. What happens at a review custody hearing?

    3 attorney answers. A Review Hearing is essentially a compliance hearing--catching up on what has happened, have the parties abided by any orders in place and, in light of the application for modification by the biological mother, the court could consider her application to change legal and/or physical custody.

  12. What is an Evidentiary Hearing in Family Court?

    Family court handles a wide range of issues related to family legal matters such as divorce, child custody, child support, and more. During the course of a family court case, there may be disputes or conflicting information that require further examination before a judge can make a ruling. This is when the court may hold an evidentiary hearing.

  13. What is a Review Hearing?

    What is a Review Hearing? The court reviews the progress of your case six months after your child is removed from your home. Your social worker sends an updated report to the judge describing the progress made on your case plan. You will receive a copy of the report prior to the hearing. Again, discuss any concerns about the report with the ...

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  15. Documents That Can Help You Win Child Custody

    Visitation Schedules. Parents should also keep a log of visitation between the child and the child's other parent. A visitation schedule log should include when visits occur, where they occur, how long they last, and their frequency. A non-custodial parent who's trying to get custody can utilize this information in court to prove a continuous ...

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  17. Understanding the Proceedings of a Final Hearing in Family Court

    A final hearing in family court is a significant event that marks the culmination of a legal process in a family law case. It is typically held when parties involved in a dispute have been unable to reach a resolution through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution methods. At this stage, the court intervenes to make decisions on issues ...

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  20. Judicial Review Hearing

    Judicial review upon exhaustion of administrative remedies. § 63-7-1440. Judicial review. An appellant seeking judicial review shall file a petition in the family court within 30 days after the final decision of DSS. The appellant shall serve a copy of the petition upon DSS. The family court shall conduct a judicial review in accordance with ...

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  22. Family Law Self-Help Center

    An "evidentiary hearing" is when the judge makes a final decision about one part of the case. For instance, the judge may set an evidentiary hearing to decide final child custody issues. A "trial" on the other hand, is a final hearing where the judge will decide all remaining issues and grant a final divorce.

  23. What is a "Case Review" and what can I expect?

    A case review on calendar is a non-appearance hearing. Basically, it reminds the judge to look at the file to monitor its status, and take any necessary action such as setting a status conference or OSC (order to show cause) hearing. Neither side needs to go to court on that date. The clerk of the court will send out notice to all parties ...

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    In a child custody battle, a judge will ask several questions to determine which child custody arrangement, sole or joint custody, will work best for the children involved. Primarily, a judge's main concern is the best interests of the child. The judge will ask a parent several questions during a child custody hearing to determine which custody ...

  26. What happens at a custody review hearing ?

    A review hearing is set to review how the last judgment is working between the two of you. If it is not working, then you should consult an attorney immediately to be with you at that hearing. It sounds like the mother should not be having 50/50 custody. Of course, I do not know what the emotional abuse is that you are alleging.

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    Court Hearing: If mediation doesn't result in an agreement, the matter might go to a court hearing. A judge will review the case and make a decision based on the best interests of the child and the financial circumstances of both parents. Technology and Support. The Texas Office of the Attorney General has embraced technology to streamline ...

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