In Santa Clara County, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) hearings are generally held in Departments 70 and 71 of the Santa Clara County Superior Court located at 201 N. First Street, in San Jose, California. On the second Wednesday of each month, some DCSS hearings are heard in Department 107 of the Santa Clara Superior Court at 301 Diana Ave. in Morgan Hill, California. Law and motion calendars start at 8:15 am or 1:15 pm. The Commissioners may set other times for longer hearings, settlement conferences or status conferences. Please be on time. If you are not in the courtroom on time, your case could be resolved without input or your hearing could be cancelled.
Attorneys from DCSS appear in the public interest but do not represent either parent or the child. There is no attorney-client relationship with either parent or with the child per Family Code §17406. Most parties are not represented by an attorney, however, parties are welcome to find their own attorneys to represent them even if they have a case with DCSS. If you do obtain an attorney to represent you for child support, please let us know.
DCSS is a party to every family law matter in which a family is receiving establishment or enforcement services from DCSS. As a result, DCSS should be served with copies of all relevant pleadings as well as documents that will be relied upon at court. DCSS often sends parties a Notice to Produce and Appear for documents that the court would find relevant to the court hearing and requests that all documents listed on the notice be received at DCSS at least 2 weeks prior to the hearing. DCSS will review the documents to be prepared for court, and if appropriate, see if a stipulation could be reached between all parties. Many families prefer stipulations as they can avoid the stress and cost of attending court such as parking fees and time off from work. If you and the other party are interested in a stipulation, please contact us.
At court, the Child Support Services attorney will often present factors agreed upon by the parties and frame the contested issues for the Court at the hearing. The parents or their attorneys can supplement those issues as needed. This process often reduces the time required for a hearing by focusing on only the contested issues. Each side is then allowed to produce evidence regarding their positions. The Court Commissioner may ask questions to obtain additional information needed. Most hearings are usually short, under fifteen minutes.