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2017 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.372. Transfer of title IV-D case to a tribal court

(a) Purpose

This rule is intended to define the procedure for transfer of title IV-D child support cases from a California superior court to a tribal court.

(b) Definitions

(1)"Tribal court" means any tribal court of a federally recognized Indian tribe located in California that is receiving funding from the federal government to operate a child support program under title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 654 et seq.).

(2)"Superior court" means a superior court of the state of California.

(3)"Title IV-D child support cases" include all cases where title IV-D services are being provided whether the case originates from the local child support agency's filing of a summons and complaint or later becomes a title IV-D case when the local child support agency registers a child support order or intervenes in a child support action by filing a change of payee.

(c) Disclosure of related case

A party must disclose in superior court whether there is any related action in tribal court in the first pleading, in an attached affidavit, or under oath. A party's disclosure of a related action must include the names and addresses of the parties to the action, the name and address of the tribal court where the action is filed, the case number of the action, and the name of judge assigned to the action, if known.

(d) Notice of intent to transfer case

Before filing a motion for case transfer of a child support matter from a superior court to a tribal court, the party requesting the transfer, the state title IV-D agency, or the tribal IV-D agency must provide the parties with notice of their right to object to the case transfer and the procedures to make such an objection.

(e) Determination of concurrent jurisdiction

The superior court may, on the motion of any party and after notice to the parties of their right to object, transfer a child support and custody provision of an action in which the state is providing services under California Family Code section 17400 to a tribal court, as defined in (a). This provision applies to both prejudgment and postjudgment cases. When ruling on a motion to transfer, the superior court must first make a threshold determination that concurrent jurisdiction exists. If concurrent jurisdiction is found to exist, the transfer will occur unless a party has objected in a timely manner. On the filing of a timely objection to the transfer, the superior court must conduct a hearing on the record considering all the relevant factors set forth in (f).

(f) Evidentiary considerations

In making a determination on the application for case transfer, the superior court must consider:

(1)The nature of the action;

(2)The interests of the parties;

(3)The identities of the parties;

(4)The convenience of the parties and witnesses;

(5)Whether state or tribal law will apply;

(6)The remedy available in the superior court or tribal court; and

(7)Any other factors deemed necessary by the superior court.

(g) Order on request to transfer

The court must issue a final order on the request to transfer including a determination of whether concurrent jurisdiction exists.

(h) Proceedings after order granting transfer

Once the superior court has granted the application to transfer, the superior court clerk must deliver a copy of the entire file, including all pleadings and orders, to the clerk of the tribal court.

Rule 5.372 adopted effective January 1, 2014.

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