(a) Exceptional circumstances.
The exceptional circumstances under which a judge may hear a title IV-D support action include:
(1) The failure of the judge to hear the action would result in significant prejudice or delay to a party including added cost or loss of work time;
(2) Transferring the matter to a commissioner would result in undue consumption of court time;
(3) Physical impossibility or difficulty due to the commissioner being geographically separate from the judge presently hearing the matter;
(4) The absence of the commissioner from the county due to illness, disability, death, or vacation; and
(5) The absence of the commissioner from the county due to service in another county and the difficulty of travel to the county in which the matter is pending.
(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2003.)
(b) Duty of judge hearing matter.
A judge hearing a title IV-D support action under this rule and Family Code sections 4251(a) and 4252(b)(7) may make an order or may make an interim order and refer the matter to the commissioner for further proceedings when appropriate. As long as a local child support agency is a party to the action, any future proceedings must be heard by a commissioner, unless the commissioner is unavailable because of exceptional circumstances.
(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2020; previously amended effective January 1, 2003, and January 1, 2007.)
(c) Discretion of the court.
Notwithstanding (a) and (b) of this rule, a judge may, in the interests of justice, transfer a case to a commissioner for hearing.
(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2007.)
Rule 5.305 amended effective January 1, 2020; adopted as rule 1280.1 effective July 1, 1997; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2003; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.