A client recently came to us wanting to change the venue of his child custody dispute. The case was filed in San Bernardino County over five years ago and both the mother and our client had moved out of California over three years ago. The children lived with the mother out of state. Despite the fact that no interested party lived in California, both parties continued to file for court hearings in the San Bernardino County Courthouse. Our client turned to our San Bernardino change of venue attorneys to see if there was some way that he could move the case out of California to a more convenient location for everyone involved.
Change of Venue Motions in San Bernardino County (California Code of Civil Procedure 397)
In California, at any time prior to trial in family law cases, a party can move to change the venue of their court case to a more appropriate courthouse. California Code of Civil Procedure 397 permits a change of venue under any of the following:
- It is inconvenient for the witnesses in the case to travel to the current venue and the ends of justice would be promoted by the change.
- One or both of the parties believe that they would not be able to have an impartial trial because of a bias judge;
- The courthouse where the case is currently located is not the appropriate courthouse for the case to be heard in. For example, one or both parties, and the children do not live in the same county as the courthouse;
- The parties live in different counties or states and the ends of justice would be promoted by moving the case to another county or state; and
There is not a qualified judge available to hear the case in the courthouse where the case was filed.Our client had grounds to seek a change of venue under at least two of these circumstances. As both parties lived out of the State of California, most, if not all, of the witnesses who could be called to testify also did not live in California. This would have made it very inconvenient for any witnesses that either party wanted to call to appear in court in California.
Our client was also able to seek a change of venue based on the ground that the case was not currently located in the appropriate courthouse. As the children lived in another state, the California courts would no longer have jurisdiction over the children. In order for the courts to have jurisdiction over children, they must have lived in that state for at least six months. As the children had been out of California for three years, our client was able to claim that California did not have jurisdiction over the children.
Successfully Obtaining a Change of Venue for our Client
We filed a motion to change venue for our client based on the above grounds. In order to prevail on our motion, we submitted letters from the children’s school out of state, as well as evidence that both parties were also employed out of state. The mother contested this change of venue motion, as for some reason, she wanted the court case to stay in California. We were able to present overwhelming evidence that the California court no longer had jurisdiction over the children and that it would be very inconvenient for the parties and most, if not all witnesses, if the case stayed in California. We prevailed on our motion and the client’s case was transferred to a more convenient courthouse.
San Bernardino Change of Venue Attorney
If you would like to make a request to change the venue of your family law case, it is very important that you speak with one of the experienced San Bernardino family law attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. Our family law attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling change of venue cases and possess the knowledge of the law and attention to detail to help you to obtain the most favorable result possible in your case.
With offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, West Covina, Victorville, and Ventura, we are always available wherever you happen to live.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428. We will be there when you call.