Department 34 Guidelines and Policies

       
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CONTACTING THE COURT:

DEPARTMENT 34 (925) 957-5734
  JUDGE: GEORGE V. SPANOS
  COURTROOM CLERK: SHIRLEY CASTILLO
  COURT REPORTER: PARTY TO PROVIDE AND PAY FOR
(if a record of the proceedings is wanted; see Local Rule 5 (l)
  BAILIFF: CHRIS BOUTTE
  DEPARTMENT FAX (925) 957-5912


COURT APPEARANCES:

Counsel are free to make their court appearances for case management conferences through CourtCall. No special requests are required.

Other matters (such as motions) require a personal appearance unless the court specifically approves a telephone appearance. If counsel wish to use CourtCall for appearances other than case management conferences they must contact the department clerk and secure permission to do so. On law and motion matters in which the parties wish to have a reporter present, the court cannot guarantee an accurate record unless counsel appear in person. Thus, counsel should not attempt to argue by telephone except in emergencies. However, CourtCall may be used simply to listen to an argument.

This court expects civility among counsel at all times. Parties, opposing counsel, and witnesses are to be formally referred to, not by first names, unless young children. While court is in session counsel should not approach the bench, the clerk or reporter.


WEEKLY SCHEDULE:

The usual weekly schedule for Department 34 is as follows:


MOTIONS, INCLUDING APPLICATIONS FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENTS:


APPLICATION FOR ORDER FOR PUBLICATION:

Dept. 34 requests that all applications for an order by publication of summons, etc. use the following form:  Application for Order for Publication


DISCOVERY MOTIONS:

Parties are required to participate in the Discovery Facilitator Program prior to filing any motion in court to compel discovery, unless specifically ordered otherwise. This includes motions pursuant to CCP Section 1987.1. (See Local Rule, Appendix E)


TRIALS:


COURT TRIALS:

Preliminary note:  The parties to a court trial must comply with Local Rule 5(k) regarding issue conferences and issue conference statements and Dept. 34’s Standing Order Re: Issue Conference, except insofar as anything relates exclusively to jury trials.

  1. The parties are to meet and confer at least 30 days prior to trial for the purpose of formulating and filing with the court, on the date the Issue Conference Statement must be filed, a joint list of all controverted issues and any stipulations the parties may have reached with respect to these issues. If the parties are unable to agree on a joint list, then each party must file and serve, on the date the Issue Conference Statement must be filed, a list of what each considers to be the controverted issues in the case (and any stipulations the parties may have reached with respect to these issues).
     
  2. The trial will be recessed after the presentation of evidence, and a date will be set to resume the trial for argument.
     
  3. Prior to argument, each party must file and serve, simultaneously, a proposed statement of decision. This proposed statement of decision must include proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law on each issue. Each party must file their proposed statement of decision at least 10 court days prior to the date set for argument; in addition, a copy is to be emailed to dept34@contracosta.courts.ca.gov.
     
  4.  Upon conclusion of the arguments of all parties, unless the court requires further papers to be filed by the parties, or further argument, the court will take the case under submission.
     
  5. The court will then proceed to prepare, file and serve on all parties its proposed (tentative) statement of decision.
     
  6. Objections to proposed statement of decision:

    1. Any objection to the statement of decision will be filed on or before 20 court days following the date of service of the court’s proposed statement of decision;
       
    2. If no objections are filed within the 20 court days, the proposed statement of decision will become the final statement of decision.  In this event, the court will issue a minute order that the proposed statement of decision is the final statement of decision, there having been no objections filed.
       
    3. If there are objections filed, the court will use its discretion whether to set a hearing on the objections, but will, in any event, consider the objections, acknowledge the making of the objections in the proposed statement of decision, and state the extent, if any, the objections affected the final statement of decision. If it appears to the court that an objection will change the statement of decision, the court will notice a hearing for all parties to be heard prior to issuing the final statement of decision.

 


 

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