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Emergency Child Custody Orders in the Midst of the Covid-19 Epidemic

With the fast spread of the novel Coronavirus, California State courts have implemented a wide-range of measures in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. The San Bernardino County Superior Court has issued an implementation order, which has outlined the measures the court will be hearing in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak.

General Order: Implementation of Emergency Relief

In order to protect the health and safety of the general public and court personnel, the San Bernardino County Superior Court has issued an implementation order, which guidelines the court matters that will continue to be heard throughout the pandemic.

Although a majority of courts throughout San Bernardino County will be closed through April 30th, 2020, limited courtrooms will remain open to hear time-sensitive matters, which include the following:

  • Temporary restraining orders that involve violent actions;
  • Family ex parte, which includes domestic violence matters or other related safety issues;
  • International kidnapping matters;
  • Probate ex-parte matters that concern elder abuse;
  • Petitions for an emergency probate for a temporary guardianship;
  • Petitions for an emergency probate for temporary conservatorships;
  • Riese hearings;
  • Warrants submitted electronically for: searches, arrests, juvenile detentions or interviews, bail enhancement, emergency protective orders, DUI, etc.; and
  • Emergency orders that relate to the health and safety of a minor.

Emergency Child Custody Orders

As a result of the novel Coronavirus outbreak, the family law court in the County of San Bernardino will be closed for all non-emergency cases. Based on the county’s issued implementation order, emergency child custody orders may be accepted for review.

California has strict laws that are set in place in order to protect vulnerable, minor children. When a minor is facing serious harm or other danger, it may be possible to file an emergency change in custody. Among several reasons, an emergency custody order can be issued when:

  • A circumstance has occurred, or could potentially occur, where the court should take immediate action to protect the best interests of the child; or
  • The petitioner already has an open case in the court involving a legal separation, divorce, child support, parentage, child custody, or child support.

It should be noted that in order to have an approved order, evidence should be submitted when filing the petition. This may include the following:

  • Any police reports that can show evidence of the situation, such as the arrest record of the other parent;
  • History of the relevant past convictions of the other party;
  • Child Protection Service records;
  • The records of all past protection orders;
  • The minor’s dental and/or medical records; and
  • When applicable, the minor’s psychologist records.

Speak to a Proficient Family Law Attorney for Your Emergency Custody Order Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak

During this epidemic, there is a lot of misinformation and confusion with respect to shelter in place orders and court-related matters. When a child is placed at risk, however, the safety of the minor is very important, and the Superior Court of San Bernardino understands this. As a result, the court will review emergency child custody orders even as the court has closed many of its locations and has placed various restrictions for all other cases.

Before petitioning for an emergency child custody order, you should understand your legal rights as a parent. It is also important for you to understand what access you have to the courts amid this emergency situation. As a result of this unprecedented time, you should know that a change in what cases are being heard can change from one day to the next. Current information is outlined in a press release issued by the San Bernardino County Superior Court.

At Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP, fighting for the rights of parents and the safety of their children does not end with the COVID-19 outbreak. Even in the midst of this uncertain time, the firm works hard to ensure the rights and interests of their clients are upheld. If you need an emergency child custody order, speak to a law firm with the right skills and experience to help you navigate this complex and challenging case. The attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP are well-versed in emergency child custody orders; consider contacting the firm today for a free case evaluation.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.