The Interplay of Statutes on Parental Rights-12

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The Interplay of Statutes on Parental Rights, Responsibilities, and Parent/Child Contact

APPENDIX “A”

Shawn McCoy, Ph.D.
4311 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 500
Los Angeles, California 90010
(323) 937-9376

SAMPLE STIPULATION

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

) CASE NO.
Petitioner,
) STIPULATION AND ORDER

vs. ) APPOINTING, SHAWN MCCOY, PH.D.,
Respondent ) SPECIAL MASTER FOR PARENTING 
) ISSUES

I . FINDINGS:

A. Stipulation.

The parties have stipulated that a Special Master shall be appointed to hear and decide issues regarding the parenting of their child(ren) date (s) of birth subject to judicial review.

B. Limitations.

The authority of the Special Master shall be limited to the issues set forth in the following order.

II. ORDER.

The court orders that the parenting issues between parties are referred to a Special Master pursuant to current statutory and case law, and subject to the limitations herein set forth.

A. Appointment.

The parenting issues in this matter are referred to: Shawn McCoy, Ph.D., 4311 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 500, Los Angeles, California 90010, (323) 937-9376.

B. Identity of Parents.

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

The parents shall keep the Special Master informed of current addresses and phone numbers at all times.

C. Limitations of Authority.

Except as selected below, the Special Master shall have authority to make no recommendations or proposed orders regarding the parenting of the parties. (Check appropriate boxes.)

( ) 1. Change any visitation schedule;

( ) 2. Change supervision of visitation; including but not limited to, deciding whether any supervision is appropriate and the appropriate monitors therefor;

( ) 3. Change Education arrangements;

( ) 4. Change religious observances;

( ) 5. Prevent a parent from changing the child’s residence, out of seven Southern California Counties;

( ) 6. Determine appropriate medical treatment (including psychotherapy);

( ) 7. Order parents and/or child(ren) to individual and/or family counseling or psychological testing;

( ) 8. Issue personal conduct and stay away restraining orders;

( ) 9. Appoint a temporary substitute while the Special Master is unavailable, for a period not to exceed two (2) weeks;

( ) 10. Set the amount of the Special Master’s retainer

of $3000.00 at $150.00 per hour;

( ) 11. Act as an Evaluator assigned the case by the court;

D. Orders.

The recommendations of the Special Master shall become orders effective immediately upon signature of the Special Master, subject to either party bringing a motion to set aside those orders within twenty (20) days of filing of the Special Master’s order, or twenty-five days, if mailed. The Special Master’s order, if challenged in the appropriate time period, shall not be entitled to any res judicata or preponderance effect. If the time period passes without challenge however, the recommendation will automatically

remain the Court order.

The party challenging the recommendations of the Special Master’s shall pay the attorney’s fees of the other party should his/her challenge be unsuccessful, unless the court finds that the objection was brought in good faith.

E. Confidentiality.

The Special Master’s findings are not confidential, and the Special Master may convey information to any screener, evaluator, mediator or judicial officer. The Special Master may provide information on issues regarding changing custody to the person or persons designated by the Court to investigate those issues.

F. Rights of Special Master.

The Special Master Shall have:
1. Reasonable access to the child with adequate notice;

2. Notice of any and all proceedings, including requests for psychological examinations affecting the child(ren);

3. Veto power over any physical and psychological examination or evaluation of the child (ren) which has not been ordered by the court;

4. Submit an evaluation of the child for a pending proceeding, upon request of either party;

5. Access to any therapist of the child, access to school or medical records of the child (ren);

6. Access to any psychological testing or test results performed on the child (ren) or;

7. Access to the medical records of the child (ren);

8. Access to teachers of the child (ren);

9. Access to any prior evaluation reports made in this case;

10. Discretion to interview the parties, attorneys or child in any combination on an ex parte basis; the parties and attorneys shall not have a reciprocal right to ex parte communication with the Special Master. Except either party may call the Special Master to request an appointment. The appointment shall be scheduled by the Special Master and both parents should be notified.

G. Communication with the Special Master.

Any party may initiate written communication with the Special Master, provided that copies are provided to the other parent at the same time.

H. Quasi-Judicial Immunity.

The Special Master, and any temporary substitutes therefor, shall have the same immunity from suit as any Judge of the Superior court.

I. Pleadings.

Counsel for ____________ shall provide a copy of this order to the Special Master by mail no later than one (1) business day after filing, and shall call the Special Master and inform him/her of the appointment within one (1) business day.

Counsel for each party shall provide copies of all previously filed pleading since the Judgement was rendered relating to custody and visitation issues and all orders thereon and the Judgment in effect to the Special Master within five (5) calendar days after the filing of this Order.

Counsel for ___________ shall serve copies of all pleading relating to custody and visitation on the Special Master within five (5) calendar days after filing. Neither party shall file any pleadings to modify custody/visitation in this matter for at least ninety (90) days from the appointment of the Special Master, unless specifically authorized by the Special Master unless it is an emergency.

J. Retainer Fee.

1. Father shall pay $1500.00 to the Special Master as a retainer within five (5) days of the filing of this Order.

2. Mother shall pay $1500.00 to the Special Master as a retainer within five (5) days of the filing of this Order.

3. The Special Master shall not be required to undertake any work until the retainer has bee paid. All fees for the Special Master after the initial retainer has been exhausted, shall be shared equally by the parties and shall be paid in the manner presented by the Special Master.

4. The Special Master may issue orders at any time for fees beyond the payment of the retainer. This request may be made ex parte by the Special Master. Any party who objects to the billing submitted by the Special Master may object within thirty (30) days of the mailing of the notice of additional billings by the Special Master, after which the court may order further fees paid and allocated proportions of the fees.

5. If there is any balance left of the retainer or additional fees at the conclusion of the Special Master’s work, the Special Master shall return the balance to the parties when the Special Master deems the work complete.

6. If any party requests special consideration in paying fees in the matter, it is incumbent upon them to file an updated income and expense declaration within fifteen (15) days of filing the order, together with a request to the Court to allocate the fees of the Special Master between the parties. Notwithstanding that fact, however, the parties must pay the retainer payments to commence immediate performance of the work by the Special Master.

K. Replacement of Special Master.

Counsel for ______________ shall notify the Court within one (1) calendar day if the person appointed as Special Master gives notice of withdrawal as Special Master. The court will immediately make another appointment.

L. Special Master As Witness.

Any party that wishes to have the Special Master testify at any hearing may apply to the Court or obtain a stipulation of the Special Master for examination. The time of the Special Master to be examined as to findings shall be set by the Court after hearing in accordance with the provisions of CCP Section 645.1. If any party wishes the Special Master to testify at hearing other than to give a report on findings, the party will be required by the Court to apply to the court for such an order and deposit in advance the amount of reasonable fees to cover the hourly rate of the Special Master.

M. Term of Appointment.

The term of this appointment shall be a period of twelve (12) months from the date of filing this Order. Any matters submitted to the Special Master within the time covered by this order shall be within the jurisdiction of the Special Master, even if decided after expiration of the term.

N. Notice to Family Court Services.

A copy of this Order shall be delivered to Family Court Services.

Dated: _____________ ____________________________
Attorney for Petitioner
Dated: _____________ ____________________________

(Parent’s signature)

Dated: _____________ ____________________________
Attorney for Respondent
Dated: _____________ ___________________________

(Parent’s signature)

ORDER

The Court accepts the Stipulation and makes the same its Order.

Dated: ____________ __________________________

(Judicial Officer)

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