Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the adoption process take?
The length of time depends upon the Petitioner(s). The Petitioner(s) will be required to submit several documents, including certified copies of both birth certificates, a marriage certificate, prior divorce decrees, employment verifications, letters of reference and consents, etc.. A home study and recommendation will also need to be prepared by the Court Investigators or Department of Social Services, depending upon which type of adoption proceeding you file. The parental rights of one biological parent may need to be terminated. An adoption can take anywhere from approximately six months to a year to complete.
Do I need an attorney to represent me in the adoption proceedings?
It is possible to represent yourself in adoption proceedings. Many prospective parents represent themselves in their adoption cases. However, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney as to the proper forms to file and procedures to follow throughout your case. It is also helpful to visit your local law library for more information.
Do you accept FAX filings?
Effective October 3, 2011, El Dorado County Superior Court will accept Fax Filings through Official Payments. Call 1-800-322-4945 or visit www.OfficialPayments.com/faxfile/jsp for more information.
Do my forms need to be typed?
All papers and documents presented for filing shall comply with California Rules of Court, rules 2.100-2.150 and rules 3.111 through 3.116. We will accept forms hand written, printed, or typed.
How many copies should I provide when filing a document?
You should provide an original and two copies.
Should I provide a courtesy copy of motion papers for the department?
No. The original documents will be forwarded to the department or staff attorneys for review.
The Criminal Division files, processes and maintains criminal records of all felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. The Division maintains an index of filings and record of criminal dispositions. Calendars are prepared and maintained through an automated case management system.
What is a Felony?
A felony is a crime, which is punishable with death or by imprisonment in the state prison.
What is a Misdemeanor?
Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by any law of this state, every offense declared to be a misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both.
What is an Infraction?
An infraction is not punishable by imprisonment. A person charged with an infraction shall not be entitled to a trial by jury or not entitled to be represented by a public defender or appointed counsel at public expense unless arrested and not released.
Where do I find a DUI Class?
The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs website has more information on DUI classes. Including how to find a DUI Program.
Please visit CA Dept of Alcohol & Drug Programs for more information
Where do I get the forms for a domestic violence restraining order?
There is a domestic violence forms packet available in the Family Law Division of the Clerk's office and the El dorado County Superior Court Self-Help Centers. The forms packet is complete with instructions and is free of charge.
I appeared in Court last week. When am I going to receive my order?
If you represent yourself, it is YOUR responsibility to prepare a Findings and Order After Hearing or other applicable order. You may purchase copies of the minute order from the hearing at the Family Law Division of the Clerk's Office for a charge of $.50 per page. The minute order can provide you with information needed for your order after hearing, i.e., the judge's name, the department, date and specific orders made by the judge. Refer to Superior Court El Dorado County Local Rules of Court 8.12.02 for more instructions.
Is my divorce automatically final in 6 months?
Absolutely not! In California, there is a MINIMUM time of 6 months and 1 day from the date the Respondent is served before a divorce can become final.
When I come to the clerk's office to file papers, what do I need to bring?
If you have an existing case, please bring your case number, the names of the involved parties and any documents you may have filed in that case. There may be applicable filing fees. The Family Law Division of the Clerk's Office accepts cash, check, or money order.
What do I do if I'm the victim of identity theft?
You will find helpful information about identity theft by clicking here:
Identity Theft Information
Is jury duty mandatory?
Yes. It is a right of citizenship and required by law.
Where do you get names for jury duty?
We obtain names from the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Registrar of Voters.
How often can I be summoned for jury duty?
Effective January 3, 2000, prospective jurors may be summoned once a year. Your term of service is One Day or One Trial. Jurors report in person one day, and may be selected to serve on a case of any length. If not selected for a case on that day, services are completed for one year.
My relative has died. What do I do with his/her Will?
Probate Code Section 8200 states that, within 30 days after having knowledge of the death of the testator (Will maker), the Will shall be delivered to the Clerk of the Superior Court of the County in which the estate of the decedent may be administered. There is a $50.00 fee for lodging the Will with the Clerk of the Superior Court.
How do I process a small claims case?
Please reference the Small Claims Court section of this web site.
Is there someone available to answer questions on how to process my case?
Yes. The Superior Court of California provides a Small Claims Advisor at no cost. The advisor is available to assist with Small Claims issues and procedures from filing through enforcement. The Legal Advisor is available every Tuesday in Placerville from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the El Dorado County Law Library located at 550 Main Street, Placerville. There is a Legal Advisor available every Tuesday in South Lake Tahoe from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 1354 Johnson Blvd., Sept. 11, South Lake Tahoe. The toll free number for the advisor is 1-800-815-2947.
How do I find the owner of a business?
You may check the city's business licensing bureau or the county clerk's fictitious business name index. If the business is a corporation, check with the California Secretary of State for the exact name and the agent authorized to receive service of process for the corporation.
How do I request forms to file my case?
You may request forms either in person or through the mail. If you wish to receive your forms by mail, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope and the appropriate copy fee. (See fee schedule)
What happens if I don't take care of my traffic citation by the appearance date?
Failure to take care of your traffic ticket by your appearance date, either by paying for it by mail, or by appearing in court on or before the appearance date, will result in your case being transferred to a collection agency. An additional charge of $307.00 will be imposed, and the DMV may suspend your driver's license. In some instances there may be a warrant ordered for your arrest.
Why is my cell phone ticket so expensive?
Each violation listed on a citation is assessed a base fine. In addition to the base fine, there are additional assessments added to make up the total fine amount due to the court.
For further information regarding fines, fees, and penalties, click here.
Do I have to show up in person?
The majority of traffic citations are not mandatory appearances. If you signed your citation, you should at least make sure you contact the court on or before your court date.
Can I get an extension and if so, how?
Generally, yes. There are different types of extensions for different types of traffic matters. You will need to contact the court listed on your citation for further details.
I received a ticket for your court but I live in Southern California. Where can I get a list of driving schools for my area?
You can obtain a list from your local court, from the Department of Motor Vehicles http://www.dmv.ca.gov or choose from our On-Line/Home Study List.
I received a traffic citation but I have not received a notice with the bail amount, what should I do?
A notice sent by the court is done as a courtesy to you. If you don't receive a notice on or before your appearance date, you should make arrangements to contact the appropriate court.