California Court Rejects Appeal in Child Support Case Due to Procedural Defects

When parents share custody of a child, they will often rely on the Courts to determine if one party owes the other child support and, if so, what amount of support is appropriate. If a party believes that a Court ruled improvidently with regard to a child support determination, they can file an appeal. They must do so within the time set forth by law, however, to avoid dismissal of their appeal on procedural grounds. This was demonstrated recently in a California child support case in which the Court dismissed a father’s appeal as untimely. If you or your co-parent intend to seek child support, it is advisable to meet with a skilled San Diego child support attorney promptly to avoid inadvertently waiving your rights.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that in September 2020, the County Department of Child Support Services filed a complaint against the father to establish child support for his minor children. The Department attached a proposed judgment regarding child support to the complaint. The father filed an answer disputing the support requested. The Department then filed a motion for an order of child support, to which the father filed a responsive declaration.

Allegedly, the Court held a hearing in June 2021. During the hearing, the Court considered the father’s brief and testimony from the mother and the father. It continued the hearing after directing the father to provide a declaration with relevant case law. Following the continuation of the hearing, during which the Court considered the case law requested and additional testimony, the Court took the matter under submission. In August 2021, the Court issued a ruling ordering the father to pay child support, which was effective October 2020. The Court also filed a judgment regarding parental obligations, and served the judgment on the father. The father filed a notice of appeal in October 2021.

Requirements for Filing a Notice of Appeal

The Court found that as the father neglected to file his notice of appeal before the 60-day limitations period expired, it lacked the jurisdiction to hear his appeal. The Court explained that it is mandatory and jurisdictional that a party comply with the requirements for filing a notice of appeal. If a party fails to file a notice of appeal in a timely manner, the Court must dismiss the appeal. The Court went on to note that a notice of appeal from a judgment must be filed within 60 days after the appealing party is served with the notice of entry of judgment or a filed-endorsed copy of the judgment or 180 days after the entry of judgment, whichever occurs earlier. Here,  the last day for the father to file his notice of appeal was three days before the actual date of filing. As such, it was untimely, and the Court dismissed the appeal.

Talk to a Knowledgeable California Family Law Attorney

Under California law, all parents have an obligation to provide financial support for their children. As such, in some instances, the Courts will order one parent to pay the other child support. If you have questions about your rights or obligations with regard to child support, you should talk to an attorney. The knowledgeable San Diego child support lawyers of Doppelt and Forney APLC have ample experience handling family law disputes, and if you hire us, we can assess the facts of your case and help you to pursue a favorable outcome. You can reach us through our online form or call us at 800-769-4748 to set up a free and confidential meeting.

Contact Information