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  1. #1
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    May 2010
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    Default Change of Venue Within California

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: California

    I would like to know if it is possible to change the venue within California?

    My wife's was involved in a custody case with her daughters grandmother.

    My wife and the father of her daughter had 50/50 legal custody. Father had physical custody. Father moved 300 miles away for work purposes. Mother agreed with move. The father and daughter stayed with the fathers mother. 12 months later father died on the job (Child was 7 at the time of death). Grandmother did not contact mother, but went straight to court (Santa Barbara County) to file for temporary guardianship. The grandmother accused the mother of being crazy, and that she would bring physical harm to the child. Court granted this, all the while the mother was trying to contact the father about a upcoming visit. Mother found out a few days later when she received the court order in the mail. We then ended upspending 2 1/2 years fighting her all the while they kept our daughter (I have since adopted her) in Santa Maria, Ca. The grandmother kept saying that it would be to traumatic for the child to move. The court appointed lawyer for the child wanted us to move to Santa Maria and was clearly on the side of the grandmother. We live in the North Bay area and my wife refused. The lawyer for the child even went as far to recommend a few hospitals in the region for employment because my wife is a nurse. The child's lawyer was upset that we would not consider this as a option. She kept agreeing with the grandmother that it was to soon for the child to move, after two years since the father died. We finally won custody but the child's counsel suggested to the court that the grandmother receive moneys for all her legal fees from the child's estate. They also gave her the social security and workman's compensation benefits. After we objected to this the judge said that if we continue with this objection, he will then reconsider his judgment for custody. The court thanked the grandmother and ordered that jurisdiction remain in Santa Barbara county. This is after everything the grandmother accused my wife of fell flat.

    We feel we can't get a fair hearing in this county because the same counsel and same judge will reside over the case if we try and modify the order. We also have already spent $35,000 in lawyer and travel cost fees. We where unable to appeal the case because we exhausted all are savings over the period of the case.

    The child (11 years old now), now my daughter has been living with us for over a year now in the Bay Area. We would like to modify the order but feel we would be wasting our time if we had to do it in Santa Maria. Is there a way to change the venue without having to go back to Santa Maria?
    We where thinking about opening a new case where we live.

    Sorry for the long post, but I felt the need to explain this situation in some detail.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Change of Venue Within California

    Sorry, you don't get to switch to a different county at the tail end of a case, after a trial and judgment, merely because you don't like the outcome.

    Aren't you represented by a lawyer? If not, that's likely a big part of why this turned into a 2-1/2 year battle. If so, you should discuss your options with your lawyer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Northern California
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    Default Re: Change of Venue Within California

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Sorry, you don't get to switch to a different county at the tail end of a case, after a trial and judgment, merely because you don't like the outcome.

    Aren't you represented by a lawyer? If not, that's likely a big part of why this turned into a 2-1/2 year battle. If so, you should discuss your options with your lawyer.
    No need to apologize Mr Knowitall. Unfortunately you do not know it all, because in my statement, you will notice that I have spent money on lawyers. I did not hire them to paint our house, but to represent us in court. Why even respond to my post?

    So before you respond with your rubber stamp comment, read the post first.
    FYI: There was a open case already in the bay Area, but this court ignored it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Change of Venue Within California

    If you are presently represented by a lawyer the answer to my question is "yes". If you are not presently represented by a lawyer the answer to my question is "no". Your post suggests that at some point in time you decided you could no longer afford representation, but you didn't bother to tell us when. Pulling an attitude won't inspire people to help you - frankly, it sounds like the judge got wind of the same attitude that you presented in your last post, and you're getting an object lesson in why you don't try to catch flies with vinegar.

    The fact that you didn't get the answer you wanted does not make it incorrect. I'm sure you've heard the same thing from your lawyer, assuming you still have one. If I were to venture a guess, you've probably had a succession of lawyers who either leave the case or who you fire because you don't like hearing what they have to say or following their advice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern California
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    Default Re: Change of Venue Within California

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    If you are presently represented by a lawyer the answer to my question is "yes". If you are not presently represented by a lawyer the answer to my question is "no". Your post suggests that at some point in time you decided you could no longer afford representation, but you didn't bother to tell us when. Pulling an attitude won't inspire people to help you - frankly, it sounds like the judge got wind of the same attitude that you presented in your last post, and you're getting an object lesson in why you don't try to catch flies with vinegar.

    The fact that you didn't get the answer you wanted does not make it incorrect. I'm sure you've heard the same thing from your lawyer, assuming you still have one. If I were to venture a guess, you've probably had a succession of lawyers who either leave the case or who you fire because you don't like hearing what they have to say or following their advice.
    Its real simple, I asked a question and you responded with assumptions that where not true. My dealing with out of town lawyers that are 300 miles from where I live has soured my impression of them, to be honest. If you hired me for something and I never returned your phone calls, you would not think highly of me I assume. For you to be shooting from the hip, on a case that is personal to me is what I am unhappy with. I can take bad news, but your response was not backed up with any substance of value.

    The fact that there was a open case in our county, and the other court felt they could take away jurisdiction, led me to believe that we could do the same since the child has lived with us for over a year now.

    And I was only the childs step father at the time of this case, so I was not represented at the table. Just a courtroom observer I was.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Change of Venue Within California

    No, what happened was you asked a question, you got an accurate answer, and you got your panties in a twist.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    1,948

    Thumbs down Re: Change of Venue Within California

    WOW
    I think the OP gets today's prize for being rude and dismissive.
    I could help - but I think not.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern California
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    Default Re: Change of Venue Within California

    Quote Quoting 525601minutes
    View Post
    WOW
    I think the OP gets today's prize for being rude and dismissive.
    I could help - but I think not.
    Thanks for reading it at least.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern California
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    Default Re: Change of Venue Within California

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    If you are presently represented by a lawyer the answer to my question is "yes". If you are not presently represented by a lawyer the answer to my question is "no". Your post suggests that at some point in time you decided you could no longer afford representation, but you didn't bother to tell us when. Pulling an attitude won't inspire people to help you - frankly, it sounds like the judge got wind of the same attitude that you presented in your last post, and you're getting an object lesson in why you don't try to catch flies with vinegar.

    The fact that you didn't get the answer you wanted does not make it incorrect. I'm sure you've heard the same thing from your lawyer, assuming you still have one. If I were to venture a guess, you've probably had a succession of lawyers who either leave the case or who you fire because you don't like hearing what they have to say or following their advice.
    I apologize for my knee jerk replies to you, which is why I would never consider representing my wife and I. Its just that this case took a enormous toll on our family and I sometimes get to emotional on the subject matter.

    My wife does have an attorney technically, but she is in Santa Maria. We do not have one where we live. After are final hearing we paid both attorney’s off (Childs and ours). That attorney said wait a year and file for custody modification in your county. But after doing some research on my own, it is my understanding that any change of venue will have to be initiated in Santa Maria. We have saved up some money for the next round, but I am trying to do a little leg work on my own, so as not to be as naive as we where in the first round. We had two lawyers in the first case. The first lawyer was hired by my wife because I was out of the country on business. This guy turned out to be a piece of work. He was laughed at by the waiting attorneys in the jury box and court staff while our case was being heard. The judge took him back in his chambers for being so ill prepared. We then hired a more competent lawyer for the remainder of the case. The toll this case has put on our family in the past nearly broke us apart. We had to drive 600 miles twice a month for 2 years. The court made both my wife and I go through extensive psychological testing ($4,500 a pop) based on allegations from the grandmother, for which I had never met before the passing of her son. This woman even accused my wife’s parents of molesting the child, go figure. The grandmother is a retired counselor for the county, so she knew all the right buttons to push apparently. The taking of the cake occurred when the court thanked her and had her lawyer fees paid with my daughters estate.

    All right, I have whined enough.

    Once again I apologize.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Arrow Re: Change of Venue Within California

    Quote Quoting drbadmin
    View Post
    We feel we can't get a fair hearing in this county because the same counsel and same judge will reside over the case if we try and modify the order. ...

    The child (11 years old now), now my daughter has been living with us for over a year now in the Bay Area. We would like to modify the order but feel we would be wasting our time if we had to do it in Santa Maria.
    How long ago was that order written/issued?
    Other than your daughter now living with you - what circumstances have changed in the child's life?

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