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Powers of Judges at Chambers

The Law on “Powers of Judges at Chambers”?

According to Code of Civil procedure of California (hereinafter: CCP) Section 165 of Title 2 “Judicial Offers” of Chapter 2- “Powers of Judges at Chambers”:

The judges of the Supreme Court as well as the courts of appeal, or any of them, may issue in chambers all orders and writings that are normally issued in the first instance upon an ex parte petition, with the exception of mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition; and may hear, at their discretion, applications for discharge of such orders and writings.

The Supreme Court of California

California’s Supreme Court is the highest court in the state, and its primary function is to guide and harmonize state law development. The court is composed of a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices, who are initially appointed by the Governor after being confirmed by the Judicial Appointments Commission, and who stand for 12-year retention election at the first post-appointment governor’s election.

The court’s chambers have been in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza since 1923.

How Can Judges Act in Chambers in California?

Superior court Judges may, in chambers:

  1. Award all orders and writings normally given in the first instance upon ex parte request and hear and dispose of such orders and writings, appoint referees, allow and obtain inventories and accounts to be registered, order the settlement of additional accounts, suspend the powers of personal representatives, guardians or conservatives in the cases permitted by law, appoint special accounts.
  2. Hear and also determine all motions made in accordance with Section 657 of Code of Civil Procedure of California and/ or Section 663 Code of Civil Procedure of California.
  3. Hear as well as determine all uncontested activities, proceedings, demurrers, motions, petitions, applications and certain other matters pending prior to the actual court apart from proceedings for the dissolution of marriage, legal separation or judgment of nullity of marriage, and other than requests for confirmation of a sale of real property in proceedings.
  4. Hear and assess motions for assessment of decision enforcement costs.
  5. Bond approval and undertaking approval.

Also, according to Section 166 of Code of Civil Procedure of California part B:

A judge shall exercise all the powers and perform all the roles and duties imposed on a judge as being contrary to the court, out of court, anywhere in the government, or that a judge may exercise or perform in chambers.

What Else to Know?

  • At the written request of any party or its lawyers, or at the discretion of the judge, a judge can, in any interlocutory order, imply a conviction that there is a controlling question of law on which there are significant grounds for difference of opinion, whose appeal resolution will significantly advance the end of the litigation.
  • Neither the denial of an application on such a comment in the interlocutory order, nor another party’s or counsel’s objection to it, may be grounds for a writ or appeal.
  • A judge of a court may carry out any act necessary or allowed to be performed by the clerk of a court.

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