Friday, August 16, 2013
Judicial Ethics Committee Seeks Comment on Draft Opinion Regarding Ex Parte Cases
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The California Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions asked for comment yesterday on a draft opinion that would condemn a local rule that broadly allows judges to conduct ex parte screenings of requests for emergency orders in family law cases.
The committee explained that the rule—the county in which it applies was not named—permits a party seeking a non-domestic-violence emergency order to submit an application without notifying the other party or offering a showing of good cause for not giving notice.
If the judge finds that an emergency order is necessary, the court notifies the moving party, who then gives notice to the opposing party.
The CJEO proposes to issue a non-binding opinion that the rule “is not authorized by the rules of court governing emergency family law orders and therefore violates the prohibition against considering ex parte communications in Canon 3B(7) of the Code of Judicial Ethics.”
The draft opinion and invitation to comment are posted on the committee’s website at http://www.JudicialEthicsOpinions.ca.gov/itc. The deadline for comment is Sept. 9, and comments may be submitted at the site, or by email, or by regular mail.
The CJEO is made up of 12 members, including the chair, Third District Court of Appeal Justice Ronald Robie. The members come from the trial and appellate courts, and include a commissioner and a retired bench officer.
The draft opinion number is 2013-002.
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