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2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.550. Continuances

(a) Cases petitioned under section 300 (§§ 316.2, 352, 354)

(1)The court must not continue a hearing beyond the time set by statute unless the court determines the continuance is not contrary to the interest of the child. In considering the child's interest, the court must give substantial weight to a child's needs for stability and prompt resolution of custody status, and the damage of prolonged temporary placements.

(2)Continuances may be granted only on a showing of good cause, and only for the time shown to be necessary. Stipulation between counsel of parties, convenience of parties, and pending criminal or family law matters are not in and of themselves good cause.

(3)If a child has been removed from the custody of a parent or guardian, the court must not grant a continuance that would cause the disposition hearing under section 361 to be completed more than 60 days after the detention hearing unless the court finds exceptional circumstances. In no event may the disposition hearing be continued more than six months after the detention hearing.

(4)In order to obtain a continuance, written notice with supporting documents must be filed and served on all parties at least two court days before the date set for hearing, unless the court finds good cause for hearing an oral motion.

(5)The court must state in its order the facts requiring any continuance that is granted.

(6)Failure of an alleged father to return a certified mail receipt of notice as described in rule 5.667 does not, in and of itself, constitute good cause to continue a hearing.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 1999, and July 1, 2002.)

(b) Cases petitioned under section 601 or 602 (§ 682)

(1)A continuance may be granted only on a showing of good cause and only for the time shown to be necessary. Stipulation between counsel or parties and convenience of parties are not in and of themselves good cause.

(2)In order to obtain a continuance, written notice with supporting documents must be filed and served on all parties at least two court days before the date set for the hearing, unless the court finds good cause for failure to comply with these requirements.

(3)The court must state in its order the facts requiring any continuance that is granted.

(4)If the child is represented by counsel, failure of counsel or the child to object to an order continuing a hearing beyond the time limit is deemed a consent to the continuance.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective July 1, 2002.)

(c) Continuances of detention hearings (§§ 319, 322, 635, 636, 638)

(1)On the motion of the child, parent, or guardian, the court must continue the detention hearing for one court day or for a reasonable period to permit the moving party to prepare any relevant evidence on the issue of detention. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the child must remain in custody pending the continued hearing.

(2)At the initial detention hearing, if the court continues the hearing under (c)(1) or for any other reason, or sets the matter for rehearing, the court must either find that the continuance of the child in the parent's or guardian's home is contrary to the child's welfare or order the child released to the custody of the parent or guardian. The court may enter this finding on a temporary basis, without prejudice to any party, and reevaluate the finding at the time of the continued detention hearing.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2007; adopted effective January 1, 1998; previously amended effective July 1, 2002.)

Rule 5.550 amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; adopted effective January 1, 1991; previously amended effective January 1, 1998, January 1, 1999, and July 1, 2002.

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