Alameda County
Bar Association

COVID-19 Family Law Updates 
A CDC graphic of the COVID-19 virus via MGN

Updated 3.18.20: 3:17PM

Restraining Order and Emergency Requests:  A drop box is now in place in HHJ to handle all restraining order requests and any Ex Parte emergency requests. Judge Rodriguez is handling the review of all DVRO requests and elder abuse requests.  There will be a bench officer coming in each day to review Ex Parte requests and make rulings. Judge Syren wants to emphasize that the Ex Parte drop box is for true emergencies.  Please do not abuse the Ex Parte emergency drop box to obtain orders that are not truly emergencies. 

Anyone filing a TRO or Emergency request should include a contact phone number on their documents.  Once the request has been reviewed, the clerk’s office will call the number provided to let party know the request is ready for pickup.  Pickup boxes are located at both HHJ and RCD. The Sheriff’s will facilitate getting the reviewed request back to party at the front door.

Settlement Conferences:  Comm. Bishay and Judge Syren are working on setting up a system to conduct settlement conferences either by telephone or agreed upon locations.  There will be more information about this as they work out process.

In addition to the information sent out earlier, Judge Syren, supervising Judge for Family Law, has provided more information regarding DVROs and emergency Ex Parte requests.  

For all TROs set to expire during the three week closure (through April 7), the Court is reissuing all temporary orders for an additional 21 days.  The reissuances are being prepared and communicated to the parties.  The reissuance and new requests will be entered into the CLETS system so that law enforcement is aware the temporary orders remain in effect.  Emergency Ex Parte orders will also be entered by the Clerk’s office.

We’ll share more when we know more!

Update 3.19.20 – Check out this guide for divorced parents navigating custody during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Update 3.20.20 – Alameda County Family Law Bench

  • Judgments: There are signed 131 Judgments from prior to the court closure that will be processed and mailed.  Judgments pending review will be processed once the courts are operational. The family law bench will work to get caught up quickly as soon as they are fully operational.
  • Rejected Judgments: Commissioner Bishay is willing to collect and sign Judgments at this time, but they cannot be processed until the court reopens. Ex Parte requests can be filed asking for the expedited process of the judgment in extreme situations, but must show irreparable harm if the judgment is not processed immediately. The ruling on these Ex Parte requests will made by the on-duty judge/commissioner who is reviewing them.
  • Commissioner Bishay is happy and ready to conduct settlement conferences by zoom at this time. To arrange this, please email Commissioner Bishay available dates and times for the conference. Settlement Conference briefs should be emailed in advance directly to Commissioner Bishay. All correspondence, to including scheduling and the submission of briefs, must be copied to opposing counsel.
  • Commissioner Bishay is also providing a phone-in clinic for questions about judgments. You can email Commissioner Bishay, copying opposing counsel, with mutually agreeable dates/times/phone numbers, and he will call to answer your questions.​

We’re trying to keep this post up to date, but please check out the Alameda County Superior Court’s dedicated webpage for the latest official information.