Monday, March 19, 2018

Elder Abuse Restraining Order Workshop

Sacramento Superior Court, in partnership with Senior Legal Hotline and Legal Services of Northern California, offers a workshop to assist elders and dependent adults seeking restraining orders. The workshop is held Tuesday mornings at 8:45 a.m. in Room 113a of the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse. No appointments are required and participants who complete the workshop will be directed to file the request for a temporary order the same day. A Spanish lanugage interpreter will be provided by the Court for each workshop.

The workshops are conducted by attorneys from Senior Legal Hotline as well as knowledgeable volunteer attorneys from the local community and will be free to anyone without an attorney.

Veterans Treatment Court

Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) is a new Sacramento County collaborative court presided over by the Honorable David W. Abbott in Department 39. This pilot court is a collaboration between law enforcement and community treatment providers. The goal of this pilot program is to offer veterans of the United States Armed Forces a comprehensive, treatment-based alternative to incarceration for non-violent criminal offenses.

Each veteran who qualifies and is willing to enter VTC will participate in treatment, counseling, and various other services for a period of 12 to 18 months. In addition, each veteran will be assigned a mentor, who is also a veteran and understands the issues that veterans experience. Mentors will be matched to each veteran participant and will serve as a coach, advocate, and source of support. Upon successful completion of the program, the majority of veterans will have the charges against them dismissed.

Veterans Treatment Court is the newest collaborative court program in Sacramento County in addition to Drug Court, Community Realignment Re-entry Court, Loaves & Fishes Court, Mental Health Court, and Violation of Probation (VOP) Court.

One Day Divorce

The One Day Divorce Program helps cooperating couples, or single parties whose spouses have defaulted, to complete a simple divorce in one day. After the initial filing and serving of the petition, unrepresented litigants can attain a fast, affordable and most important--a fair resolution of their simple divorce.

In a time when budget cuts are forcing courts all over California to limit services to the public, judges and court professionals from the Sacramento Superior Court are leading efforts to innovate improvements to the administration of justice in Family Law.

Judge James Mize of the Sacramento Superior Court created the first "One Day Divorce" program in the state in December 2012. Family Law attorneys and law students volunteer to help litigants through the one-day process. The first step is for litigants to sit down with one or more pro tem judges who discuss the terms of the couple's proposed agreement. The next step is accomplished with help from law students and your attorney volunteers. Finally, if all the formal documents are completed and if the pro tem judges have approved the case for One Day Divorce treatment, the parties appear in the courtroom of Judge James Mize who will grant the appropriate relief. In 95% of all cases, the parties leave the courtroom with the final and formal documents in their hands and nothing else left to be done to obtain their judgment of dissolution or legal separation.

In California, 72% of family law litigants do not have lawyers. Simple divorces are complicated for self-represented litigants and, as a result, many cases languish in and congest the court system for months and even years. One of the biggest complaints about courts, and family courts in particular, is that the process takes too long to complete. The "One Day Divorce" program was created to help solve these problems.

Litigants participating in the program during the pilot phase had plenty to say about the experience. "I always had the feeling that the system was out to get me. Today the system was actually working for me," said Jason S., who made his first filing for divorce three years ago. Frustrated after having his paperwork rejected and not knowing how to proceed, he and his spouse discontinued the divorce process while living separate lives. Through the "One Day Divorce" program, he and his spouse spent one day in court getting the necessary assistance with their case, then left the same day with a signed judgment that meant their divorce was finalized.

Another participant, Aaron M. indicated "the lawyers made the process a lot more effective. No more time off work, back and forth to court. Just flat out GOT IT DONE." John G. commented, "This class took away my stress of dealing with this by myself. Thank you guys very much."

Visit the One Day Divorce Program web page for more information.