Law Offices of Makupson & Howard Articles AB 939 Could Cause Courtroom Delay

AB 939 Could Cause Courtroom Delay

By The Law Offices of Makupson & Howard  May. 6, 2011 11:46a

California Passes Family Law Assembly Bill

Assembly Bill 939 was signed into law by the governor last year, a move that may cause huge delays in family law courtrooms.

The intent of the bill is to answer a problem raised by the California Supreme Court in 2007 with Elkin vs Superior Court. Prior to this case, the extremely large number of family law and divorce cases relative to the small amount of family law courts available to hear them in led to a reduction in the amount of time that could be dedicated to each individual court. The Los Angeles Superior Court alone handles more than 100,000 family law filings per year, which necessarily causes a huge strain on the resources of the court.

In the decision, the Supreme Court ruled that due process was being violated in the state, as litigants were being denied a fair and just amount of time to argue their cases before the court. The stakes of many family law and divorce cases are often very high for the parties involved; each spouse’s financial future is at stake, as well as the future of each child’s life.

The legislature stepped forward last year to address this difficult issue, ordering in AB 939 that each and every divorce and family law case in the state be allowed due process. Under the new bill, each court is required to allow both litigants to appear before the court and give testimony, as is each child over the age of 14.

Unfortunately, critics warn, the new bill may cause huge delays, as it does little to alleviate the personnel shortage in the state. With every case now entitled to personal testimony from each party, the time taken by each case could balloon out of control.

Seek A Family Law Attorney

With the huge volume of cases in California, many litigants in divorce cases choose to represent themselves. This is almost always to the detriment of the client, who must try to navigate the complicated legal system without the help of a skilled Pasadena family law attorney. At the firm of Makupson & Howard, we are dedicated to working closely with you to help resolve your family law issues as painlessly as possible.

Please, do not hesitate to contact a Pasadena divorce lawyer right away!

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