Husband met Wife in Israel in 2010. Wife followed Husband to San Diego and married him. They had a child in 2014. They filed for divorce in 2018. Wife decided to return to Israel. She filed a Request for move-away order allowing her to move to Israel with their child. Family Court tentatively granted the request (8/10/18) and ultimately entered a judgment granting the move-away (11/7/18.) Wife gave notice to Husband that she intended to depart with the child on 11/22/18. Husband cherishing the few days he had left with their child, filed an ex parte application with the family court to stop the move-away until the 30 days from the judgment date have passed.

The Family Court judge hearing the ex parte ruled that the tentative order of 8/10/18 started the clock for the 30 days stay and denied the ex parte request and ordered Huband to deliver the child to the Wife/Mother that same evening.

Husband/Father, not accepting the judge’s ruling, filed a Writ of Mandate in the Court of Appeal and requested a stay of the move until 11/22/18. (30 days after entry of judgment.) Court of Appeal agreed with the Father and found that the judge in the Family Court was wrong and that the stay period began to run when the court filed the judgment granting the move-away request which was on 11/7/18. Court of Appeal said that the tentative order of 8/10/18 was an oral statement of its decision at the end of the hearing and it was not a not a judgment or order.

The 30 day stay comes from Code of Civil Procedure Section 917.7 which states: “… the provisions of the judgment or order allowing, or eliminating restrictions against, removal of the minor child from the state are stayed by operation of law for a period of seven calendar days from the entry of the judgment or order by a juvenile court in a dependency hearing, or for a period of 30 calendar days from the entry of judgment or order by any other trial court….”

Lief v. Superior Court (2018) 30 Cal. App. 5th 868 [San Diego County – 4th District]

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