The Los Angeles County Superior Court (LASC) in California has a probate division. The probate division’s the only court division there that handles cases involving probate estates of decedents, conservatorships of incapacitated adults, and trusts subject to court supervision or legal dispute. It also handles all guardianships of minors in need of someone to manage their affairs and all minor’s compromise cases.
The name “probate” division can be a bit misleading to the uninitiated. It sounds like only probate decedent’s estate court proceedings occur there. The probate division handles many types of cases in addition to probate decedent’s estates court proceedings.
Los Angeles Probate Court Organization
In Los Angeles County the central courthouse handles nearly all probate division cases. The central courthouse is known as the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, and it’s in downtown Los Angeles. Also a limited number of cases occur in the Michael D. Antonovich Antelope Valley courthouse in the City of Lancaster.
Los Angeles Probate Court Filing
Attorneys must file pleadings with the court electronically through one of several commercial electronic filing service providers. If you don’t have an attorney, then you may file pleadings with the court either electronically or physically.
A “pleading” is virtually any document filed with the court before the conclusion of the court case. Through the pleading you will request that the court do something specific.
Your pleading will likely be a petition. If someone disputes what you’re requesting through the petition, then they should file a pleading called an opposition or objections to your petition. Otherwise, most pleadings filed requesting action by the probate court are called petitions.
The probate court in Los Angeles County is paperless. Accordingly, you can obtain electronic copies of pleadings and other documents in the court’s file. The court provides those electronic copies through the Internet.
When you file the initial pleading to create a new probate court case in Los Angeles, you also need to file with that initial pleading a document called a Probate Case Cover Sheet and Certificate of Grounds for Assignment to District. The selections that you make in this document will help the court assign your case to the correct probate courtroom. You’ll need to leave the Case Number blank on this form. The court will assign the case number after you submit this form to the court.
Note the case number and the courtroom number or department number. They will be on the first pleadings after you file them and receive back filed copies of them. These copies are known as “conformed copies”.
Use this case number on all subsequent pleadings and other documents that you may file with the court. Generally, each case stays in the same courtroom or department for the duration of the case. It’ll help the court if you indicate the correct courtroom number or department number on all subsequent pleadings.
Los Angeles Probate Court Case Access
The Los Angeles Superior Court probate division webpage provides access to valuable information about your case. You can see a summary of the case history. You also can view a list of upcoming hearings for your case.
Get Help from an Experienced Los Angeles County Probate Attorney
Navigating the Los Angeles County probate court can be daunting to the inexperienced. The employees there need to manage huge caseloads. They normally don’t have enough time to provide a lot of guidance. And of course they can’t give you legal advice.
Hiring an attorney with experience in the Los Angeles County probate court helps you avoid wasting a lot of time. Otherwise you may do things incorrectly by mistake. In addition, the advice and guidance of an attorney experienced with probate court cases is invaluable for attaining your goals in cases involving probate estates of decedents, conservatorships of incapacitated adults, trusts subject to court supervision or legal dispute, guardianships of minors in need of someone to manage their affairs, and minor’s compromises.
At Meinzer Law Firm, P.C., we have over 20 years of experience in the Los Angeles County probate court. Contact Meinzer Law Firm, P.C., in Torrance to assist you with your Los Angeles County probate court case.