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Family Law Tentative Rulings

What is a Tentative Ruling?

A Tentative Ruling is a proposed ruling of the Court (informs you how the judge is planning to rule on the Request For Order, Notice of Motion, and/or Order to Show Cause) and is only issued if your case is set on a Tuesday or Thursday at 9 a.m. in Department 403 or Department 404.

Access to Tentative Rulings

The Unified Family Court will publish a written Tentative Ruling by 2 p.m. on the court day BEFORE your scheduled court hearing (Tuesday or Thursday morning calendars only) to tell you how the judge is planning to rule on your Request.

You may obtain the Tentative Ruling by:

  1. Online: View your Tentative Ruling on the Online Services section of the Court's website.
  2. Telephone: Call (415) 551-3637.
  3. In Person: Visit the Unified Family Court Clerk’s Office in Room 402. Public computers are available to obtain your tentative ruling online.

NOTE: Family Law cases that are designated as confidential by California law or by Court order will not be posted online.

If the Monday or Wednesday before the hearing is a court holiday, the ruling will be available by 2 p.m. on the court day before the holiday.

What Do I Do After I Obtain the Tentative Ruling?

If you want the Tentative Ruling to become the Court's order and you do not hear from the other party by 4 p.m., you do not have to appear at the court hearing the following morning.

If you do not want to Tentative Ruling to become the Court's order, then you must do the following:

  1. Contact the other party (unless there is a restraining order) or the other party's attorney, if they have one, no later than 4 p.m. on the court day before the hearing, and let the other party know that you intend to come to the hearing.
    • If you do not reach the other party (or other party's attorney) directly, you must leave a message on their voice mail. If you do not have the other party’s telephone number, you must inform the Court Clerk.
    • If there is an active Restraining Order/Temporary Restraining Order that prohibits you from contacting the other party, you must have a 3rd party, over the age of 18, notify the other party for the sole purpose of your intention to appear.
  2. Contact the Court Clerk in the Department where the hearing is scheduled to let the clerk know you intend to come to the hearing. Contact the Clerk in Department 403 at (415) 551-3741 and Department 404 at (415) 551-3744. (Note: If the Department clerk does not answer, you must leave a voicemail message no later than 4 p.m.

Tentative ruling instructions

See complete information in the Tentative Ruling Instructions.

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