Improved Services for Families in Crisis - San Bernardino Superior Court

Family Law icon Project Name: Improved Services for Families in Crisis
Court: San Bernadino Superior Court
   Links: Family Court Services Webpage

Overview/Program Description:

The previous practice was to set every case for Child Custody Recommending Counseling (CCRC) at the time of filing. The practice was changed by setting certain kinds of matters for an expedited hearing before a judicial officer, without first scheduling a CCRC appointment. At the hearing, the judicial officer determines if CCRC is needed and if so, the appointment is scheduled.

  1. Cases with No Existing Orders: Allocate resources to these litigants in order to provide a priority court hearing and priority CCRC services before the court hearing and reduce the wait time they experience to obtain a court hearing from 75 to 100+ days to approximately 45 days for Request for Order (RFO) filings.
  2. Requests for Modification: Reduce the wait time to obtain a court hearing from 75 to 100+ days to approximately 30 to 45 days for RFO filings with existing orders (modifications). A court hearing is set approximately 30 to 45 days from filing. Referrals to CCRC occur if the judicial officer assesses that new information or a change of circumstance justifies the need for CCRC.
  3. Domestic Violence or Safety Issues: Maximize the court's CCRC resources by having judicial officers assess when the service is required on all RFO filings for modifications, RFO filings for temporary emergency orders, and domestic violence filings.


Program Benefits/Savings:

The program is in its third month of implementation. Initial results are positive and the project goals are being met.

  1. Cases with No Existing Orders: The average time to hearing on a RFO filing has been reduced from 100+ days to 42 days. CCRC is scheduled prior to the hearing.
  2. Requests for Modification: The average time to hearing on a RFO filing has been reduced to 30 to 45 days.
  3. Domestic Violence or Safety Issues: For those cases where the judge determines that CCRC is needed, the average time to obtain CCRC services and a hearing is 73 days.
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