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2023 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.4. Preemption; local rules and forms

Each local court may adopt local rules and forms regarding family law actions and proceedings that are not in conflict with or inconsistent with California law or the California Rules of Court. Effective January 1, 2013, local court rules and forms must comply with the Family Rules.

Rule 5.4 adopted effective January 1, 2013.

Advisory Committee Comment

The Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee agrees with the Elkins Family Law Task Force: Final Report and Recommendations (final report) regarding local rules of court (see final report at pages 31-32). The final report is available at www.courts.ca.gov/elkins-finalreport.pdf.

The advisory committee encourages local courts to continue piloting innovative family law programs and practices using local rules that are consistent with California law and the California Rules of Court.

Courts must not adopt local rules that create barriers for self-represented litigants or parties represented by counsel in getting their day in court. Further, courts should not adopt general rules for a courtroom as they pose substantial barriers to a party's access to justice.

Title 5, Family and Juvenile Rules-Division 1, Family Rules-Chapter 1, General Provisions-Article 2, Use of Forms; adopted January 1, 2013.

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