Santa Barbara County Court
Status as of 5/18/2020
The Santa Barbara County Court is closed at this time and no court hearings will be held in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, or Lompoc from March 17, 2020 through May 23, 2020 except for a limited number of emergency services such as domestic violence restraining orders and ex parte guardianship requests where a minor’s safety is at risk. This means if your case was scheduled to be heard between March 17, 2020 and May 23, 2020, your case has been continued and you should receive a notice with the new date in the mail. Some services will be offered telephonically such as mediation and family law facilitator’s office appointments. This means that if you want to file a new case or any other documents, you can e-file them with the court but they will not be processed until after the court reopens. You can also file documents by mail and fax, but these will also have a significant delay due to the court closure.
If there are currently temporary orders in place, they will stay in place until your new hearing date. If your response or other pleadings were due during this closure period, the court is counting these days as court holidays and therefore you will be able to file your documents as soon as the court reopens.
The Santa Barbara County Court has issued guidelines for parenting schedules during the pandemic. These guidelines define spring and summer break as well as vacations and holidays. The closure of the schools shall not be considered vacation or holiday time, but should be treated as regular school time. The guidelines also state that Covid-19 alone is not a reason to deny parenting time. If parenting time is supposed to take place in public areas or if parenting time is supposed to be supervised, the parties should work collaboratively and conduct parenting time virtually with videoconferencing or by telephone. Parents may also need to change their exchange locations to comply with CDC guidelines and other state and local mandates. If parenting time is missed, the parties should work out a makeup schedule that promotes the wellbeing and safety of the children.
For the most up to date information about the Santa Barbara County Court, please visit here.
To view information about other California Family Law Courts, please visit here.