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  1. #1

    Default Small Claims Court for Unpaid Family Law Bills

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: CA

    In a family law court, my Ex was ordered to pay a specific portion of a custody evaluation. She is not going to pay and if I want the evaluation completed, I will have to pay the outstanding balance.

    I will have an order that says she pay's X amount and proof that I paid the entire amount. I would like a money judgment so that I can try to recoup my expense. Is this something I can do in Small Claims court? I would like to avoid spinning up my family law attorney.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Small Claims Court for Unpaid Family Law Bills

    You need to go to the court that ordered it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Small Claims Court for Unpaid Family Law Bills

    What on Earth does "spinning up my family law attorney" mean?

    You would seek an enforceable order/judgment in the family court action, not a separate action.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Small Claims Court for Unpaid Family Law Bills

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    What on Earth does "spinning up my family law attorney" mean?
    I'm sure it means writing a check.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Small Claims Court for Unpaid Family Law Bills

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    I'm sure it means writing a check.
    Pretty much. Family Law matters get really off-topic really fast. If small-claims court is an option, I don't want to pay my attorney thousands just so I can break even. I believe I have a case for my Ex owing me money and I would like to get an order that says it explicitly.

    So, if I filed a case in small claims court, would it be heard or thrown out?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Small Claims Court for Unpaid Family Law Bills

    Quote Quoting Good Guy
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    So, if I filed a case in small claims court, would it be heard or thrown out?
    It should get dismissed. The family court has jurisdiction over the order that it issued and is the court that may enforce that order. The order is not grounds for seeking a money judgment in small claims court.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Small Claims Court for Unpaid Family Law Bills

    Quote Quoting Good Guy
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    Pretty much. Family Law matters get really off-topic really fast. If small-claims court is an option, I don't want to pay my attorney thousands just so I can break even. I believe I have a case for my Ex owing me money and I would like to get an order that says it explicitly.
    You already have the order. You'll need to file a "motion for an order to show cause why she shouldn't be held in contempt" (yes, that's what it's called) for not complying with the order.

    You might be able to find a format in the CA court forms online or elsewhere on the internet and might not need your lawyer to do it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Small Claims Court for Unpaid Family Law Bills

    Quote Quoting Good Guy
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    So, if I filed a case in small claims court, would it be heard or thrown out?
    Almost certainly dismissed without prejudice because you filed in the wrong court.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Small Claims Court for Unpaid Family Law Bills

    As has been mentioned the family court has exclusive jurisdiction with respect to the enforcement of its orders. Moreover a small claims court has no jurisdiction whatsoever with respect to such domestic issues.

    That said now please explain why you believe that a money judgment in your favor for the respondent's decreed share of the custody evaluation fee would have greater practical purpose over the current order which is enforceable per the inherent powers of the court in re contempt whereas a money judgment isn't or may not be?

    Please note also that as a condition to holding the respondent in contempt of the court's order it must find that the failure to obey the order is willful - in this sense meaning inexcusable neglect to comply.

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