How do I process a small claims case?
It is possible to represent yourself in adoption proceedings. Many prospective parents represent themselves in their adoption cases. However, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney as to the proper forms to file and procedures to follow throughout your case. It is also helpful to visit your local law library for more information.
A stepparent adoption is where a person adopts his or her spouse's or registered domestic partner's child.
If you are not married to or in a registered domestic partnership with the child's legal parent, you cannot do a stepparent adoption. You might want to talk to a lawyer to see what other options you have.
A stepparent adoption packet is located in the Family Law and Probate Division clerks office.
The court prefers that all forms be typed.
No courtesy copies required.
Court Reporter Fee FAQs
For moving papers filed on or after August 1, 2012, the $30.00 fee will be collected from the initiating party when the moving papers are filed with the clerk.
For moving papers filed prior to August 1, 2012, with a calendar date after August 1, 2012, the initiating party may be advised at the beginning of their hearing to pay the $30.00 in the clerk’s office when the hearing is concluded.
The fee is non-refundable even if the proceeding is taken off calendar.
The four primary changes related to the deposit of the advance jury fees are:
- The fee is fixed at $150.00 rather than limited to $150.00.
- The fees must be deposited earlier than previously required.
- Fees deposited after June 27, 2012 will be non-refundable.
- The fees will no longer be credited to the actual jury fees and costs paid by the party on the second day of trial.
Beginning June 28, 2012, the advance jury fees must be deposited:
- On or before the date scheduled for the initial case management conference in the action; or
- If no case management conference is scheduled, no later than 365 days after the filing of the initial complaint; or
- If the party has not appeared before the initial case management conference or has appeared more than 365 days after the filing of the initial complaint, at least 25 calendar days before the date initially set for trial; or
- If the case is an unlawful detainer action, at lease five days before the date set for trial.
- Proper identification (driverâ€™s license, passport, other picture identification)
- Copy of citation
- Notice of Hearing
- Bond receipts, cash bail receipts, etc.
- Jail release paperwork
- Any documents which prove that you have complied with the judicial orders and/or sentencing
- Cash, personal check, or postal money order to pay for fines and fees
You can appear at the Solano County Sheriffâ€™s Department at 530 Union, Suite 100, Fairfield, CA 94533.
Or, depending on where the violation occurred and which location the case was filed appear at the Criminal Clerkâ€™s offices, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Court Locations are 530 Union Ave., Suite 200, Fairfield, CA 94533, or 321 Tuolumne Ave., Vallejo, CA to determine if the court will place your matter on calendar. The bench warrant will remain outstanding until you appear at the next court hearing date.
Family Law FAQs
Domestic Violence happens in many forms between two people in an intimate relationship. Physical violence includes kicking, punching, shoving, slapping or striking in any way that hurts your body. Sexual violence includes unwelcome touching, fondling or forced intimacy. Emotional violence using coercion or threats and anger to create a controlling and fearful relationship.
Ex Parte applications or emergency hearings are heard by appointment only. The appointment must be scheduled directly with a family law judicial assistant. The fee for a ex parte application is $40. There is no fee for submitting an domestic violence restraining order.
All ex parte applications and domestic violence restraining orders must be completed and ready for submission before 1 p.m.
The Solano Legal Access Center (SLAC) is located on the second floor in the Hall of Justice at 600 Union Avenue, Fairfield CA. They are open every weekday with the exception of Wednesday from 8:15 to 2:00 p.m.
See the Solano Legal Access Center page for more details.
The process of obtaining a divorce begins when you file the initial papers. Your dissolution is not complete until all disagreements are settleed and you have prepared and filed all necessary paperwork with the court, and you receive a Notice of Entry of Judgment. You are not divorced until your judgment is filed and entered by the court.
A person is able to remarry only after the judgment has been entered ending your martial status. The earliest date mairtal status can be ended is six months and one day after the Respondent was served with the Summons and Petition for Dissolution.
It is the responsibility of either or both parties to prepare and file all documents and bring your case to Judgment. It is important that you seek legal advice if you have any questions.
There may be a time, even years after your divorce, that you need a copy of the divorce papers.
To get copies of divorce documents, go to the courthouse in Fairfield located at 600 Union Avenue or Vallejo located at 321 Tuolumne Street and ask for a copy or send a request through the mail.
To request a copy by mail, send us:
1. Your written request, including your case number if you have it. If you do not have your case number, include in your letter the first and last names of both parties and the approximate year of the divorce. This information will help our office locate your case number. If it takes our office more than 10 minutes to locate your case number, a $10 search fee is required in addition to the fees outlined below.
2. A check payable to the Solano Superior Court in the amount of $15 for a certified copy or .50 cents per side per page. If you do not need a certified copy we recommend sending a check not to exceed $15.
3. A self-addressed stampled legal-sized envelope with enough postage to mail you back your documents.
If you have an existing case, please bring your case number, the names of the involved parties and any documents you may have filed in that case. There may be applicable filing fees. The Family Law Division of the Clerk's Office accepts cash, check, Visa, Mastercard or Discover card.
Paternity is the legal determination of fatherhood. Establishing paternity is the legal process of determining the biological father of a child. When parents are married, in most cases, paternity is established without legal action. If parents are unmarried, establishment of paternity requires a court order. This process should be started by both parents as soon as possible for the benefit of the child(ren).
Until paternity is established, the father does not have the legal rights or responsibilities of a parent. Establishing paternity is neccessary before custody; visitation and child support may be ordered by the court.
There is a filing fee for all matters except Domestic Violence restraining orders and Department of Child Support cases. If you cannot afford to pay filing fees, you may request an Request to Waive Court Fees and Costs. Forms are available at both locations of the clerk's office or you can download the forms at the California Judicial Council's website: www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms
Jury Services FAQs
We obtain names from the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Registrar of Voters. If the information you provide to these two sources is not identical you may receive two summonses.
Effective January 3, 2000, prospective jurors may be summoned once a year. Your term of service is One Day or One Trial. Jurors report in person one day, and may be selected to serve on a case of any length. If not selected for a case on that day, services are completed for one year. If you receive more than one summons during the year, you may be in our database more than once. This often occurs if information received from the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Registrar of Voters are not the same. Hyphenated names, maiden and married names, and names containing a space can cause duplication within the database. If you receive a summons earlier than expected, notify the jury office in writing so we may correct the error and update our database.
Additional Juror Information
The social worker's telephone number should be listed at the end of the most recent court report for your case where the social worker signs their name.
If you have the legal right to inherit personal property, like money in a bank account or stocks, the entire estate is worth $150,000 or less, and there is no real property (land) in the estate you may not have to go to court.
There is a simplified process that can sometimes be used to transfer the property to your name. This process generally cannot be used for real property like a house. The Affidavit Procedure for Collection of Transfer of Personal Property can be found in the Probate Code under Section 13100. Check with a qualified probate attorney as to whether this procedure is appropriate.
If the deceased person's property is worth more than $150,000, you must go to court and start a probate case.
To do this, you must file one of these petitions form (DE-111).
Petition for Letters Testamentary
Petition for Letters of Administration with Will Annexed
Petition for Letters of Administration
Petition for Letters of Special Administration
You may be able to use a simple form (DE-221) called a Spousal Property Petition, to get a court order that says what your share of the community property is and what part of your deceased spouses's share of community and separate property belongs to you.
The person who has the will at the time of the person's death is the custodian of the will.
Pursuant to Probate Code Section 8200 the custodian has 30 says to lodge the original will with the Probate Clerk's Office:
Hall of Justice
Family Law, Probate and Adoption Division
600 Union Avenue
Fairfield CA 94533
The custodian must also send a copy fo the Will to the Executor. If the custodian does not do these things, he or she can be sued for damages caused.
If there is no will and a court case is needed, the court will appoint an Administrator to manage the estate during the Probate process.
The person who wants to be the administrator must file a Petition for Letters of Administration. The Administrator usually is the spouse, domestic partner or close relative of the deceased person.
1. The probate clerks sets a hearing date. 2. The petitioner must give the court notice of the hearing to anyone who may have the right to get some part of the estate. The petitioner cannot be the one to mail the notice. It must be mailed by any other adult. 3. A Court Probate Examiner reviews the case before the hearing to see if it was done correctly.
Petition to Determine Succession to Real Property $150,000 limit. You can reference Probate Code Section 13151. You must file documents with the court and get an order. The total estate is $150,000 or less.
Total estate is $50,000 or less, real property only. You can reference Probate Code Section 13200. You must file with the court but no order is required.
Guardianship is a court process by which a person other than a parent is given custody of a child or authority over a child's property. Appointment as guardian requires the filing of a petiiton and approval by the court.
If the court appoints you as a guardian for a child, you will assume important duties and obligations. You will become responsible to the court. It is essential that you clearly understand your duties and responsibilities as guardian. If you have any questions, your should consult with an attorney who is qualified to advise you in these matters.
A Guardianship packet is located in the Family Law and Probate Division Clerks office, in either Fairfield or Vallejo.
Before you file a petition for guardianship, you should consider the following:
1. Is the guardianship really necessary?
2. Have you considered the alternatives?
3. Do the parents consent to the guardianship?
4. Without parental consent, is there enough evidence for you to prove the need for a guardianship?
5. Do you need legal advice or assistance?
Small Claims FAQs
You may request forms either in person or through the mail. If you wish to receive your forms by mail, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Notices sent to you by the courts are done as a courtesy to you. If you don't receive a notice on or before your appearance date, you should make arrangements to contact the appropriate court as listed above.
•If you have not attended traffic school within the last 18 months prior to this citation;
•You have a valid driver's license;
•You have no outstanding Failures to Appear;
•This citation only involves a moving infraction and does not involve any drug or alcohol violations;
•You were not speeding more than 25 mph over the posted limit.
Failure to attend traffic school can adversely affect your driving record and insurance.
Fairfield Branch - 1-800-496-4085
Vallejo Branch - 1-800-687-2069
Please note: you must have your docket number and bail amount available to use this method.
Click Court Declaration for a Declaration form. This declaration must be filled out properly in order to submit your request to the judicial officer.
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