Friday, November 8, 2013

Exes and Ex Partes Don't Mix

Vesco v. Superior Court, No. B249449 (D2d6 Nov. 6, 2013)

California Rule of Court 1.100 allows disabled litigants to apply to accommodations to ensure they have equal access to the court. The applicant can submit confidential medical information in support of such a request, and disclosure of that information is limited to “those involved in the accommodation process.” Plaintiff in this case is trying to kick his ex out of a home he owns. The ex filed an ex parte application seeking a trial continuance as a Rule 1.100 accommodation. She did not serve plaintiff with the documents explaining the basis of her request. Plaintiff sought access to the documents, which the trial court denied. Plaintiff then sought a writ, which was summarily denied by the court of appeal. Then the ex sought yet another ex parte continuance, and the process repeated the same way a second time around. But this time the court of appeal took up the writ. Since the accommodation sought by the ex—a continuance—was at the expense of the plaintiff, he was clearly “involved in the accommodation process” under Rule of Court 1.100(c)(4). He thus should have been given notice and an opportunity to view the documents that formed the basis of the ex’s request, in order to be able to effectively challenge the request for a continuance.

Writ granted.

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