California : Family Code: 1810-1820
(provided by Divorce Source, Inc.)
Published 5.20.98

1810. Each superior court shall exercise the jurisdiction conferred by this part. While sitting in the exercise of this jurisdiction, the court shall be known and referred to as the "family conciliation court."

1811. In counties having more than one judge of the superior court, the presiding judge of the superior court shall annually, in the month of January, designate at least one judge to hear all cases under this part. The judge or judges so designated shall hold as many sessions of the family conciliation court in each week as are necessary for the prompt disposition of the business before the court.

1812. (a) The judge of the family conciliation court may transfer any case before the family conciliation court pursuant to this part to the department of the presiding judge of the superior court for assignment for trial or other proceedings by another judge of the court, whenever in the opinion of the judge of the family conciliation court the transfer is necessary to expedite the business of the family conciliation court or to ensure the prompt consideration of the case.

(b) When a case is transferred pursuant to subdivision (a), the judge to whom it is transferred shall act as the judge of the family conciliation court in the matter.

1813. (a) The presiding judge of the superior court may appoint a judge of the superior court other than the judge of the family conciliation court to act as judge of the family conciliation court during any period when the judge of the family conciliation court is on vacation, absent, or for any reason unable to perform the duties as judge of the family conciliation court.

(b) The judge appointed under subdivision (a) has all of the powers and authority of a judge of the family conciliation court in cases under this part.

1814. (a) In each county in which a family conciliation court is established, the superior court may appoint one supervising counselor of conciliation and one secretary to assist the family conciliation court in disposing of its business and carrying out its functions. In counties which have by contract established joint family conciliation court services, the superior courts in contracting counties jointly may make the appointments under this subdivision.

(b) The supervising counselor of conciliation has the power to do all of the following:

(c) The superior court, or contracting superior courts, may also appoint, with the consent of the board of supervisors, associate counselors of conciliation and other office assistants as may be necessary to assist the family conciliation court in disposing of its business. The associate counselors shall carry out their duties under the supervision of the supervising counselor of conciliation and have the powers of the supervising counselor of conciliation. Office assistants shall work under the supervision and direction of the supervising counselor of conciliation.

(d) The classification and salaries of persons appointed under this section shall be determined by:

1815. (a) A person employed as a supervising counselor of conciliation or as an associate counselor of conciliation shall have all of the following minimum qualifications:

(b) The family conciliation court may substitute additional experience for a portion of the education, or additional education for a portion of the experience, required under subdivision (a).

(c) This section does not apply to any supervising counselor of conciliation who was in office on March 27, 1980.

1816. (a) Supervising and associate counselors and mediators described in Section 3164 shall participate in programs of continuing instruction in domestic violence, including child abuse, as may be arranged and provided to them. This training may utilize domestic violence training programs conducted by nonprofit community organizations with an expertise in domestic violence issues.

(b) Areas of instruction shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

(c) The Judicial Council shall solicit the assistance of community organizations concerned with domestic violence and shall seek to develop a training program that will maximize coordination between conciliation courts and local agencies concerned with domestic violence.

1817. The probation officer in every county shall do all of the following:

1818. (a) All superior court hearings or conferences in proceedings under this part shall be held in private and the court shall exclude all persons except the officers of the court, the parties, their counsel, and witnesses. Conferences may be held with each party and the party's counsel separately and in the discretion of the judge, commissioner, or counselor conducting the conference or hearing, counsel for one party may be excluded when the adverse party is present. All communications, verbal or written, from parties to the judge, commissioner, or counselor in a proceeding under this part shall be deemed to be official information within the meaning of Section 1040 of the Evidence Code.

(b) The files of the family conciliation court shall be closed. The petition, supporting affidavit, conciliation agreement, and any court order made in the matter may be opened to inspection by a party or the party's counsel upon the written authority of the judge of the family conciliation court.

1819. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), upon order of the judge of the family conciliation court, the supervising counselor of conciliation may destroy any record, paper, or document filed or kept in the office of the supervising counselor of conciliation which is more than two years old.

(b) Records described in subdivision (a) of child custody or visitation mediation may be destroyed when the minor or minors involved are 18 years of age.

(c) In the judge's discretion, the judge of the family conciliation court may order the microfilming of any record, paper, or document described in subdivision (a) or (b).

1820. (a) A county may contract with any other county or counties to provide joint family conciliation court services.

(b) An agreement between two or more counties for the operation of a joint family conciliation court service may provide that the treasurer of one participating county shall be the custodian of moneys made available for the purposes of the joint services, and that the treasurer may make payments from the moneys upon audit of the appropriate auditing officer or body of the county of that treasurer.

(c) An agreement between two or more counties for the operation of a joint family conciliation court service may also provide: