Dear Legal Document Preparers community,
Here's the latest news from the Sacramento Superior Court:
As you know, "many court operations have been curtailed and understandably, have adversely impacted the civil legal community.
The Court is developing and are implementing an operational plan that will increased civil, family law and probate operations. It is very important that you check the court’s website for updates and additional orders.
Missed Hearings: Hearings missed during the court closure period (March 20, 2020 through May 15, 2020) will be continued by minute order and posted to the Public Case Access System (https://services.saccourt.ca.gov/PublicCaseAccess/) . The posted minute order will provide new hearings dates, extend temporary orders if applicable, and provide instructions for appearing using Zoom. Continuance dates could be set as early as May 11, 2020.
Missed FCS Return Hearings: Hearings on the return from mediation will be reset, noticed via the Public Case Access System (https://services.saccourt.ca.gov/PublicCaseAccess/) to be heard commencing the week of May 25, 2020.
Missed FCS Mediation Appointments: All mediations missed since the court closure on March 20, 2020, will be rescheduled with notification sent to parties by US Mail, by the anticipated date of May 27, 2020. Mediations conducted via telephone or Zoom could begin as early as May 1, 2020.
FCS 10-Page Input Letters: A designated email address will be contained within the FCS notification sent out to parties.
FCS Mediation Reports: All reports for mediations conducted in early March will be issued by May 11, 2020, and posted on the Public Case Access System (https://services.saccourt.ca.gov/PublicCaseAccess/) .
Retroactive Modification of Support: Child and Spousal support are statutorily retroactive to date of filing. See Judicial Council web link at courts.ca.gov/doc…/2020-04-19-rules-effective-04-20-2020.pdf (http://www.courts.ca.gov/…/2020-04-19-rules-effective-04-20…) .
Probate: Probate Court will accept and process ex parte applications beyond those limited to temporary
conservatorship and guardianship. See Probate Court Closure Mitigation Plan saccourt.ca.gov/…/extended-court-closure-mitigation-planfor… (https://www.saccourt.ca.gov/…/extended-court-closure-mitiga…)
For more details, please visit the Court's COVID-19 website: https://www.saccourt.ca.gov/general/coronavirus.aspx
If you’re looking for more ways to protect yourself and your loved ones, check out the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html) website.
Thank you so much for sticking with us!
We look forward to supporting each other during these challenging times.
Are you struggling to pay your commercial lease? Put your LegalShield Small Business Plan to work for you! Have a lawyer review your commercial lease for a Force Majeure Clause then guide you how to navigate rent negotiations amid the COVID-19 epidemic.
Is your landlord unresponsive? Have a lawyer write a letter on your behalf.
LETTERS & CALLS
DOCUMENTS & CONTRACTS
Enroll for a LegalShield Small Business Plan
Keeping track of the relief rollouts amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) is difficult to say the least. Tracking down the forms needed to apply for relief can be nearly impossible. We've started a webpage dedicated COVID-19 legal resources for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. As the situation continues to develop, we continue to upload forms and other resources to the COVID-19 Legal Resource page.
Amid COVID-19 the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses.
Interest rate on the disaster loans is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for private nonprofit organizations. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/
For more information on SBA disaster assistance:
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak we be providing virtual assistance for the safety of our clients and staff. We will remain open during regular business hours and reachable by phone, text, and email.
We will continue to provide essential legal services necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities and limited emergency matters. This includes:
• Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse Restraining Order
• Family Emergency Temporary Restraining Order
• Emergency Family Law Ex Partes
We'll continue to provide virtual assistance; however, filings will be delayed as a result of the Temporary Court Closures.
At the direction of government officials in Sacramento County, our building will comply by operating under reduced hours temporarily beginning this afternoon through at least May 31, 2020. A precise end date has not yet been determined by local government officials.
Stay safe and healthy!
This March 2020 will be a year since approval for the creation of a standing Language Access Subcommittee. This subcommittee was established under its Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness to help ensure that any remaining recommendations are implemented after the language access task force sunsets on March 1, according to Blaine Corren's article.
Starting January 1, 2020, Judicial Council of California the California Court Interpreter Credential Review Procedures will take effect creating a complaint guidelines for alleging professional misconduct or malfeasance against California certified or registered interpreter.
As of January 1, 2019, Small Claims Court interpreters are no longer exempt from the requirement that they be court certified in the language they interpret. See GOV §68560.5. Interpreters whose compliance status set to expire on December 31, 2019 will be removed from the Judicial Council Master List
The California Courts have developed a Court Interpreters Program become a certified court or registered
California interpreter. Court interpreters play a key role in insure access to justice at trial courts by interpreting for defendants, litigants and witnesses.
Source: https://www.courts.ca.gov/7996.htm; https://www.courts.ca.gov/programs-interpreters.htm; https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/CIP_CRProcedures.pdf
Loving this article! Finally, demand driving creation of non-lawyer legal services! It's time to breaking up lawyer's monopoly on the legal services market.
Clients are demanding [lawyers need to be creative] as other professionals. Use paralegals, legal technicians, and document preparers plus automation to help reduce the costs and create affordable fees. - MARY E. JUETTEN
Read more: https://abovethelaw.com/2019/01/are-some-law-offices-just-like-the-mall
Effective 09/27/2018, Rule 3 4.00.09 Filing through Fax Filing Agency, of the Local Rules for the Superior Court, County of El Dorado, is hereby amended as set forth below:
4.00.09 FILING THROUGH FAX FILING AGENCY
The Superior Court of California, County of El Dorado, accepts [electronic] fax filing in civil, probate, and family law departments by facsimile transmission pursuant to California Rules of Court, rules 2.300 through 2.306.
Documents received by 4:00 p.m. shall be filed with that day’s date. All documents received after 4:00 p.m. are deemed to have occurred on the next business day. The Superior Court of California, County of El Dorado, does not accept direct facsimile filing of documents except as authorized in rule 4.00.08. Refer to the court’s website for online electronic fax filing instructions at www.eldoradocourt.org. (Revised January 1, 2019)
Effective January 1, 2019, Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) and Unlawful Detainer Assistants (UDAs) are required to complete 15 hours of continuing legal education MCLE courses during the two-year period preceding renewal. Legal ethics education is no longer required as part of the the 15 hours MCLE requirement. Business Professions Code §6402 was amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 776, Sec. 2. (AB 3250)
"[Limited License Legal Technicians] (LLTs) are an important piece of [closing the access to justice gap] and it’s the think[ing] around them, that we have been innovative enough to create a tier that never existed before in the history of law in this country. And there’s probably more jobs, descriptions, opportunities for us to create professionals, preferably regulated, as part of our large profession.
States with Non-Attorney Professionals:
Legal Document Assistants
Unlawful Detainer Assistants
Bankruptcy Petition Preparer
Legal Document Preparers
Certified Legal Document Preparer
More info can be found on the NFPA website, where the association provides a comprehensive list of Paralegal and Non-Lawyer Regulation by State: