Change Of Venue California Family Law Code Of Civil Procedure 397.5
I am helping a client with their California family law case with a change of venue in Los Angeles Superior Court. Specifically we are talking about a change of venue based upon Family Law Code of Civil Procedure 397.5
Family Law Code of Civil Procedure 397.5 is a pretty specific code section that says;
In any proceeding for dissolution or nullity of marriage or legal separation of the parties under the Family Code, where it appears that both petitioner and respondent have moved from the county rendering the order, the court may, when the ends of justice and the convenience of the parties would be promoted by the change, order that the proceedings be transferred to the county of residence of either party.
This code does not leave much to argue against. It simply says that if both parties have moved from the County that they can make the request under 397.5.
However if you look at the words they chose to use, there is some conditions. First, the language used is “May”. The Court “May” transfer the if both the petitioner and respondent have moved from the county.
Second, the language says “when the ends of justice and the convenience of the parties would be promoted by the change”.
So here is how I would write the requests for change of venue under 397.5. I would make sure not to take advantage of this section and think it is a done deal just by saying you both live outside the county. I think you should include things that tell the court how it will be a convenience to the parties involved and to point out how the ends of justice would be met.
For those who are opposing the change of venue under 397.5, i would make sure to point out the opposite, of course, and explain why it is not in the best interest of the parties for the venue to be changed.
Some of these reasons could be that the person changing venue is only a few miles outside of the county and not much closer to the court they are asking it to me changed to. Another reason would be to say (if it is true) that the only reason the other party is requesting the change is because they don’t like the judge and have been receiving unfavorable results at request for orders.
Again, I am writing an opposition request for order responsive declaration for a hearing coming up in a few weeks. I will write another post which details what the court’s ultimate decision was on this issue.