Extra notice of hearing requirement in probate cases: Zoom videoconference information
If you are the petitioner in a probate, guardianship, or conservatorship case, you must serve a special Zoom videoconference notification along with the standard notice paperwork for upcoming hearings.
Because of COVID-19, the court began holding hearings over Zoom videoconferencing. If you can’t use video, you can participate by telephone. Recently, the court began allowing people to attend in person. However, the petitioner must serve the Zoom notification even if they plan to attend in person.
Whenever the court schedules a probate hearing, the person asking for the court order (petitioner) must notify certain people. During the COVID restrictions, there is a new Zoom service requirement in probate as well.
If you don’t serve the Zoom notification, your probate/guardianship hearing will be delayed several months
In guardianships, conservatorships, and all probate cases, you are required to serve certain relatives and sometimes other people or agencies whenever there is a hearing scheduled. Since the court previously never permitted videoconferencing, without special information, they would be unable to attend.
The Sacramento court has made it the petitioner’s responsibility to let them know of this new option.
The new Zoom service requirements in probate are that along with the normal paperwork, petitioners MUST serve two additional papers:
The petitioner must file a special Zoom proof of service:
- Proof of Service (Zoom Court Hearing – Probate) (Form PR/E-CT-Local POS)
If you do not serve these, the court will delay the hearing for a few more months. You will have to re-do all the notices and your order will be delayed.
Exceptions to service requirements
The only exceptions to the Zoom service requirements are the people who do not need to be notified at all:
- people who have signed consent forms (Video: Getting relatives to sign consent form in guardianship)
- people who cannot be located after a diligent search (Video: What is a “diligent search” in guardianship?)
In other words, every time you send a Notice of Hearing you must include the Zoom information and file the Zoom proof of service as well as the standard proof of service.
For help starting a guardianship…
SH@LL (Self Help at the Law Library, formerly Civil Self Help Center) may be able to help you get guardianship of minors you care for. Call 916-426-2731 to request an an appointment.
This material is intended as general information only. Your case may have factors requiring different procedures or forms. The information and instructions are provided for use in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Please keep in mind that each court may have different requirements. If you need further assistance consult a lawyer.