Public Comment: Changes to the  California Rules of Court, Judicial Council forms, and legislation

Below is a list summarizing the proposals for changes to the California Rules of Court, Judicial Council forms, and legislation that are currently circulating for comment. Copies of the proposals may be viewed at the California Courts website at:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/policyadmin-invitationstocomment.htm

The deadline for comment for each of these is February 12, 2019. 

The following items may be of particular interest:  

Civil Practice and Procedure: Waivers of Court Fees for Court Reporters and Interpreters– W19 – 06

Item Number: W19 – 06

Deadline for Comments: February 12, 2019 5:00 PM (Pacific) Submit Comment Online Or, email: invitations@jud.ca.gov

Recent changes in the law pertaining to court fees for providing court reporters, providing court interpreters to parties in civil cases by priority level, and reimbursing courts for the cost of providing interpreters affect certain rules and forms that address fee waivers. The California Supreme Court recently held that courts that do not provide official court reporters must make available to parties entitled to a waiver of fees court reporters or other means to create a verbatim record. (Jameson v. Desta (2018) 5 Cal.5th 594.) Earlier legislation (Assem. Bill 1657; Stats. 2014, ch. 721) added a section to the Evidence Code that requires the Judicial Council to reimburse courts for court interpreter services for parties in civil cases and prioritizes by case type the provision of court interpreter services. The Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee proposes that two California Rules of Court be amended and several fee waiver forms be revised to provide, generally, that a party that has been granted a fee waiver may request a court to provide an official reporter at a proceeding; delete an item addressing court-appointed interpreters in small claims actions; and change the language addressing court reporter’s fees.

Civil Practice and Procedure: Unlawful Detainer – W19 – 04

Item Number: W19 – 04

Deadline for Comments: February 12, 2019 5:00 PM (Pacific) Submit Comment Online Or, email: invitations@jud.ca.gov

Recent legislation added to and amended the Code of Civil Procedure section regarding unlawful detainer actions to expand affirmative defenses and to clarify that the period of time in which a defendant must respond to a summons does not include Saturday, Sunday, and other judicial holidays. The Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee proposes revising two forms, Answer—Unlawful Detainer (form UD-105) and Summons Unlawful Detainer—Eviction (form SUM-130), to make them consistent with these statutory changes.

Civil Practice and Procedure: Name Change and Gender Change Forms – W19 – 03

Item Number: W19 – 03

Deadline for Comments: February 12, 2019 5:00 PM (Pacific) Submit Comment Online Or, email: invitations@jud.ca.gov

The Judicial Council has recently adopted and revised several Name Change forms at the recommendation of the Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee to reflect recently enacted legislative amendments that go into effect January 1, 2019. Assembly Bill 3250 (Stats. 2018,ch. 776) added new requirements for issuance and service of orders to show cause in certain name change and gender-change recognition proceedings initiated by parents or guardians, as well as requiring new judicial findings in gender-change recognition proceedings brought by guardians. Assembly Bill 2201 (Stats. 2018, ch. 818) added a new category of petitioners (those seeking to avoid human trafficking) to those who may seek confidential name changes. The forms have been revised, and the two additional forms adopted, prior to circulation so that they will be correct when the laws become effective. The Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee is now circulating these forms and seeking comments following adoption of the forms. The committee will recommend further revisions, based on the comments, if appropriate.

Juvenile Law: Guardianship Information – W19 – 07
Item Number: W19 – 07 
Deadline for Comments: February 12, 2019 5:00 PM (Pacific)
Submit Comment Online Or, email: invitations@jud.ca.gov

The Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee proposes revising one form and revising and renumbering another form to update legal information for prospective guardians of children in juvenile court proceedings, in language and a format easily understood by a person not trained in law. The proposal is needed to comply with an ongoing statutory mandate. Revisions were suggested both informally and through the spring 2018 comment cycle by child welfare departments, county counsel’s offices, juvenile courts, and the Judicial Council’s Probate and Mental Health Advisory Committee.

Probate Conservatorship and Guardianship: Qualifications and Education of Appointed Counsel – W19 – 08
Item Number: W19 – 08 
Deadline for Comments: February 12, 2019 5:00 PM (Pacific)
Submit Comment Online Or, email: invitations@jud.ca.gov

The Probate and Mental Health Advisory Committee proposes repealing one rule of court and adopting five new rules of court to clarify and amend the minimum qualifications and education requirements for counsel appointed to represent wards and conservatees in guardianship, conservatorship, and other proceedings under division 4 of the Probate Code. The committee also proposes revising two forms for mandatory use by attorneys to certify that they meet the requirements for appointment. The amendments and revisions were suggested by courts, stakeholders, and disability rights advocates to clarify the existing requirements, resolve inconsistencies with statute, promote more effective representation, and simplify the certification process.

Language Access: Language Services in Noncourtroom Programs and Services – W19 – 09
Item Number: W19 – 09 
Deadline for Comments: February 12, 2019 5:00 PM (Pacific)
Submit Comment Online Or, email: invitations@jud.ca.gov

The Judicial Council has charged the Language Access Plan Implementation Task Force with overseeing and ensuring implementation of the Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts (LAP). The plan provides a comprehensive and systematic approach to expanding language access in the California courts, in fulfillment of the courts’ obligations under title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Task Force proposes a new rule of court and three optional forms to satisfy a series of LAP recommendations focusing on the provision of language services outside the courtroom.

Importance of the comment process

We encourage you to review the proposals carefully. The comment process is vitally important to the work of the Judicial Council. Proposals are frequently revised because of the comments received. Your comments will make a valuable contribution to the council’s decision-making process.

Submitting comments

Please submit comments electronically on the California Courts website, at: http://www.courts.ca.gov/policyadmin-invitationstocomment.htm or by e-mail to:  invitations@jud.ca.gov. The deadline for comment is 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 12, 2019.

When submitting comments, please:

  • Identify the proposal that you are commenting on by its title. (If you are commenting on more than one proposal, please submit separate comments.)
  • Indicate whether you agree with the proposal, would agree with the proposal if it is modified, or do not agree with the proposal.
  • Clearly identify any specific provisions of the proposal that you are submitting narrative comments about.

All comments will be reviewed and recommendations for changes will be made to the Judicial Council’s Rules and Projects Committee and then to the full council. Comments received will become part of the public record. In addition, please note that Judicial Council reports, which include charts with summaries of all comments and responses to comments will be posted on the website when the proposals are submitted to the Judicial Council for consideration.

The comment process is intended to give the courts and interested persons and organizations a systematic procedure for ensuring that proposed changes to statutes, rules, standards, forms, and jury instructions receive proper consideration. We welcome your comments on this process as well as on the proposals themselves.

We apologize if you received multiple copies of this message. It is our intent to distribute the proposals as widely as possible. If you have any questions, please contact Benita Downs, at Benita.Downs@jud.ca.gov, or at 415-865-7957.