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LAW & MOTION TENTATIVE RULING – FAMILY LAW Dept. 23
JUDGE BRADFORD J. DEMEO
IN COURTROOM 23
FRIDAY, February 5, 2016 @ 9:30 A.M.
The following Tentative Rulings will become the ruling of the Court unless a party desires to be heard. If you desire to appear and present oral argument as to any motion, it will be necessary for you to contact the Judicial Assistant by telephone at (707) 521-6732 by 4:00 p.m., Thursday, February 4, 2016. Any party requesting an appearance must notify all other opposing parties of their intent to appear.
Orozco v. Vargas SFL-57715
Petitioner's motion to change venue is GRANTED. Petitioner has satisfied her burden of proof showing that it would be appropriate for Sacramento County to obtain venue in this matter. There is a history of domestic violence in this case which resulted in supervised visits for respondent one time per week up to two hours. In 2012 petitioner moved to Sacramento County with the children. On November 26, 2013 respondent filed a motion to modify custody and visitation. A Family Court services recommending counseling session was scheduled for April 16, 2014. However, respondent failed to appear at the Family Court services recommending counseling session set on his own motion. For three years Respondent did not ask the court to return the children to Sonoma County or even mention it in his pleadings until now. He rested on his rights and only now raises the allegation that petitioner moved the children to Sacramento without telling him at the time of the move, or getting his consent. Respondent cites Prewitt v. Prewitt (1954) 128 CA2d 344, for the proposition that where the convenience of witness and quantum of evidence is about the same a change of venue should be denied. Prewitt did not have a domestic violence component as this case does. In this case that is a weighted factor which tips the scale for this court. Petitioner, as a victim of domestic violence, should not be inconvenienced on behalf of the abuser, especially when the children have lived in Sacramento for over three years continuously and without interruption. That would not serve the ends of justice. Thus, the ends of justice are served by changing venue to Sacramento where the most recent experiences in the children’s lives have occurred, and where the most relevant witnesses are likely to be on most, if not all, issues in this case.
IRMO Jahanshahi SFL-69319
The Motion is DENIED. The respondent has the burden of proof to establish the necessary grounds that California is an inconvenient forum. First, the court notes that the motion is not supported by admissible evidence in the form of a declaration; and, the facts the respondent seeks to have the court rely upon are only contained in argument. Even if the court were to take the facts, as represented in the motion, as true and admissible, they are insufficient to meet the high burden of overcoming the presumption that Sonoma County is the proper forum, and that it is "seriously inconvenient." (See Morris vs. AGFA Corp. (2006) 144 Cal app fourth 1452, 1464.)