I've spoken with a number of you by email about the chilling effect that
Marriage of Boblitt had on post-judgment discovery, and am pleased to announce that Jerry
Brown has signed into emergency law new Family Code section 218, effective
January 1, 2015. It states as follows:
"With respect to the ability to conduct formal discovery in family
law proceedings, when a request for order or other motion is filed and
served after entry of judgment, discovery shall automatically reopen as
to the issues raised in the postjudgment pleadings currently before the
court. The date initially set for trial of the action specified in subdivision (a) of
Section 2024.020 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall mean the date the postjudgment proceeding is set for hearing on
the motion or any continuance thereof, or evidentiary trial, whichever
Please note that another rarely recognized effect of this statute is to
extend the discovery cut-off that applies to civil actions generally,
so that upon a trial continuance for instance your right to seek discovery
automatically reopens. I continue to see lawyers filing motions to extend
the cut-off, thinking that the old rules still apply. They no longer do
in family law now! Spread the word!
Oh boy, I can foresee the attorney fee sparks flying over what discovery
does and does not relate "to the issues raised in the postjudgment
I recommend that anyone contemplating filing a mega-RFO post-judgment hold
off until this new law takes effect.
BTW, I've received an email suggestion that this statute became effective
when it was adopted, on or about 7/24/14. That is not the case - it doesn't
become effective until 2015.