Law & Motion and Discovery

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE

Please refer to the Information Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Court Operations page for the most current information in light of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Videoconference Hearings in Law & Motion and Discovery Departments

Effective Monday, July 6, 2020, the Law & Motion and Discovery Departments will be holding hearings by videoconference using Zoom. Counsel and parties can appear by videoconference and the public can view and/or listen to hearings, by clicking on the appropriate links below:

Discovery, Department 301 Daily at 9:00 a.m. 

Law & Motion, Department 302 Daily at 9:30 a.m.

If unable to join using the links above, the hearings may be joined by telephone by dialing +1 669 900 6833 and entering the meeting ID and password below.

Department 301: Meeting ID: 883 1747 5273     Password: 421662

Department 302: Meeting ID: 862 4684 9687     Password: 490158

Law and Motion

For motions filed before June 1, 2020, with hearing dates that were vacated by the Court’s General Orders, the moving party should meet and confer with opposing counsel to agree upon a proposed hearing date and, if the motion is not already fully briefed, a schedule for the completion of briefing. Once the parties have reached agreement, they should send an email to [email protected] stating that they have stipulated to a new hearing date and specifying the new date and the date on which the motion originally was scheduled to be heard. Counsel will be notified by email or telephone if their proposed hearing date has been approved. If the date requested is unavailable, another date will be assigned.

 

For motions filed on or after June 1, 2020, the moving party should confer with all other parties before scheduling and noticing a hearing, and may then e-file and notice the hearing in accordance with Code of Civil Procedure section 1005 or other applicable requirements. The moving party need not obtain a hearing date or reservation number from the court/Dept. 302 before filing the motion.

For all law and motion matters, the court will post tentative rulings and follow the procedures set forth in San Francisco County Superior Court Local Rule 8.3 et seq. All hearings will be conducted remotely by CourtCall or by videoconference. No in-person appearances will be permitted.

Ex parte hearings in law and motion matters are held daily at 11:00 a.m. by CourtCall. No later than two (2) hours prior to the hearing, the moving party must efile the moving papers and attach them to an email to the opposing party/counsel addressed to [email protected] with the subject line, “Ex Parte Application.”

A party presenting an ex parte application in the law and motion department for a temporary restraining order, alternative writ, appointment of a receiver, or similar matter must schedule the hearing with the court by sending an email to [email protected] at least 24 hours in advance of the proposed hearing date.

Discovery Department

 

Any party who wishes to have a discovery motion heard, whether or not it was previously scheduled for hearing, must confer with all other parties before scheduling and noticing the hearing. The moving party shall file a new or amended notice of motion setting the matter for hearing in accordance with Code of Civil Procedure section 1005 or other applicable requirements. The moving party need not obtain a hearing date or reservation number from the court/Dept. 302 before filing the motion.

The parties need not deliver courtesy copies of their filed papers to Department 302. After filing the papers, they should attach copies to an emai addressed to [email protected]The subject line of the email should state the case name and number and the date of the hearing. The text of the email should include the name and contact information, including the email address of the attorney or party who will appear at the hearing.

The court does not provide official court reporters for hearings in the discovery department. Any party who wishes to supply its own court reporter must ensure that the reporter is a California-certified shorthand reporter and is capable of reporting a hearing conducted telephonically or by videoconference.

 

Search for Case Calendars by Case Type and Date. Information is available up to 120 calendar days from today.

Case Calendar


Department 302 is generally closed for lunch Noon – 1:30 p.m. Unless the morning calendar runs past Noon, the staff will recess thereafter. When this happens a notice will be posted outside the courtroom.

Notice to the Public: Pursuant to LRSF 2.7(B)(2) courtesy copies of all filed papers for motions heard in Department 301 and 302 must be delivered to the respective department.

Discovery (See Local Rule 10.0)

  • All Discovery Motions with exception of Family Law, Probate, Asbestos and Unlawful Detainer will be heard at 9 a.m., Monday – Friday.
  • Requests for telephonic appearances shall be made pursuant to San Francisco Local Rule 3.2F.
  • Parties must schedule and notice hearings within the time limits provided by law e.g. CCP 1005 and/or Local Rule 8.
  • Parties do not need to obtain a reservation prior to filing a Discovery Motion. Type the word "Discovery" on the title page of all papers relating to Discovery heard in Department 302.
  • Family Law Discovery Motions shall be heard by the Family Law Department. Dates for Family Law Discovery Motions are set by the Family Law Department at the time of filing.
  • Probate Discovery Motions are heard in Probate Department 204. Dates for Probate Discovery Motions must be obtained by the Probate Department 204 prior to filing.
  • Asbestos Discovery Motions are heard in Department 503 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 9 a.m. Reservations for Asbestos Discovery Motions must be made by calling (415) 551-3706 Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. to Noon or 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Unlawful Detainer Discovery Motions are heard in the Real Property Court, Department 501, Monday - Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Discovery Ex-Parte Motions (See Local Rule 9)

  • Ex-Parte motions shall be heard Monday - Friday at 11 a.m.
  • Ex-Parte applications for Temporary Restraining Orders (other than those pursuant to CCP 527.6 and related to Foreclosure or an Unlawful Detainer Action) and Writ of Possession must be reserved prior to the filing and service of the moving papers by e-mailing [email protected].
  • All other Ex-parte Discovery Motions do not need to be reserved prior to filing and service of the moving papers.

Orders of Examination will be heard in Department 514 at 2 p.m., Tuesday - Thursday.

Civil Pitchess motions will be heard in Department 514 at 9 a.m., every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday only (excluding Court holidays).

Law and Motion (See Local Rule 8)

  • All Law & Motion matters, limited and unlimited jurisdiction, with the exception of Asbestos, Probate, Family Law and Unlawful Detainer Law and Motion matters are heard at 9:30 a.m.
  • All Writs and Receivers matters and all Petitions for Relief for Service Members are heard at 9:30 a.m. on weekdays.
  • Parties must schedule and notice hearings within the time limits provided by law- e.g., CCP 1005 and/or Local Rule 8. Before filing a motion the moving party must obtain a hearing date and reservation number from the court by sending an email to [email protected] between the hours of 8 a.m. and Noon. If a litigant does not have an email address, the litigant may call the Law and Motion department at (415) 551-3688 between 8 a.m. and Noon to obtain a hearing date. The reservation number must be typed on the caption page of the notice of motion upon submission for filing. 
  • Please note that the date requested may not be available as the Court Calendar may be full and a later date will be assigned. Counsel should schedule motions with deadline dates well in advance, such as Motions for Summary Judgment/Summary Adjudication which must be heard 30 days before trial. 
  • Parties do not need to obtain a hearing date prior to filing a Discovery Motion. Type the word "Discovery" on the title page of all papers relating to Discovery heard in Department 302.
  • Family Law and Motion matters are heard by the Family Law Department. Dates for Family Law Discovery Motions are set by the Family Law Department at the time of filing.
  • Probate Law and Motion matters are heard in Probate Department 204. Dates for Probate Law and Motion matters must be obtained by the Probate Department 204 prior to filing.
  • Asbestos Law and Motion matters are heard in Department 503 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m.
  • Unlawful Detainer Law and Motion matters are heard in the Real Property Court, Department 501, at 9:30 a.m. Monday - Friday.

Law and MOtion Ex-PArte Motions (See Local Rule 9)

  • Ex-Parte Motions are heard at 11 a.m. Monday - Friday, with the exception of Unlawful Detainer Stays of Execution.
  • Unlawful Detainer Stays of Execution are heard at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays in the Real Property Court, Department 501.
  • All Ex-parte Writs and Receivers must be scheduled with the calendar clerk prior to filing and service of moving papers, by emailing [email protected].

Courtesy copies of all papers relating to Writs and Receivers Ex-parte Applications must be hand-delivered to Department 302 no later two hours prior to the 9 a.m.

With the exception of proposed orders for motions for summary judgment/adjudication, it is recommended that you appear at the hearing with your proposed order even if your hearing is uncontested to ensure timely processing of the order. Orders submitted after session is over may experience a delay in processing. When submitting a proposed order after the session is over, you must submit an original, one copy, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Please refer to CRC 3.1312 and CRC 2.100 – 2.119 for specific details.

Presiding Judge Matters

The presiding Judge of the respective court (or person designated by the Presiding Judge) shall hear all motions that affect trial dates (including ex-parte applications for Orders Shortening Time for Motion to Continue Trial) with the exception of Unlawful Detainer cases. Unlawful Detainer motions that affect the trial dates (including Ex-parte Applications for Orders Shortening Time for Motion to Continue Trial) will be heard in the Real Property Court, Department 501.

The Presiding Judge of the respective court (or person designated by the Presiding Judge) hears all applications for Waiver of Court Fees (“In Forma Pauperis”) in Department 206.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Do I have to reserve a hearing date on my motion?

Yes, for Law and Motion matters, you must obtain a hearing date and reservation number prior to filing your motion. Law and Motion matters are heard Monday - Friday at 9:30 a.m. (except Court holidays). You do not have to observe the code requirements as to notice, service and filing. To obtain a hearing date and reservation number, you must do the following:

Please send email to [email protected] between the hours of 8 a.m. and Noon. Be sure to include the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Your Phone Number
  • Case Name and Number
  • Name of Party You are representing
  • The type or name of the motion you want to file
  • Dates you are not available

If you do not have an email address you may call 415-551-3688 between the hours of 8:00am and 12noon to obtain a hearing date and reservation number. For Discovery Motions you do not need to reserve a hearing date prior to filing your motion. Discovery motions are heard Monday – Friday at 9 a.m. (except Court holidays). You do not have an option of setting a matter at any other given time.

Where do I file my papers?

Represented parties must electronically file (e-file) all subsequent documents. Non-represented parties may file papers in Room 103 of the Civic Center Courthouse. After filing or e-filing, a courtesy copy (our work copy) must be lodged with Department 302. All courtesy copies for Discovery Motions should be placed in the in-box outside of Room 301-A.

Who do I contact if I want my motion off calendar or to continue a motion that is currently on calendar?

To continue a matter that is currently on calendar, you need to contact the Law & Motion/ Discovery Calendar Clerk no later than 3 p.m. two court days before the scheduled hearing. The following phone numbers apply:

For Law and Motion cases – call (415) 551-3823
For Discovery odd- and even-numbered cases – call (415) 551-3688

If you are leaving a phone message, be sure to include the following information:

  • Your name;
  • Your phone number;
  • Name of your client(s);
  • If you are the moving/opposing party;
  • When the matter is set for hearing; and
  • Make the representation that this continuance is pursuant to agreement by the parties.

Failure to do any of the above will result in a failure to achieve a continuance. Additionally, a written stipulation, Amended Notice, or Re-notice filed with the Clerk's Office will not get your matter continued. It is imperative that you contact the Calendar Clerk.

How do I get a tentative ruling and when are they available?

Call (415) 551-4000, follow the prompts or simply enter 1111, then enter the 6-digit case number followed by the # sign. Tentative rulings are generally available at 3 p.m. the day before the hearing. After dialing, if you hear this message, The case number entered cannot be found in our files, it simply means that the Judge is still working on your case and has not issued a tentative ruling on your matter yet.

If the Judge is late with the tentative ruling, how am i supposed to notify opposing counsel?

Read California Rules of Court, Rule 324 or San Francisco Superior Court Rule 8.3F. Remember, if you do not hear a tentative ruling on your matter, most likely the courtroom clerk has not entered the tentative ruling yet. Calling the courtroom clerk will not produce a tentative ruling on your case as briefing is in chambers.

Will the Court prepare an order after ruling?

No. California Rules of Court specify that the burden of preparing a formal order falls on the prevailing party. With the exception of proposed orders for motions for summary judgment/ adjudication, it is recommended that you appear at the hearing with your proposed order even if your hearing is uncontested to ensure timely processing of the order. Orders submitted after the session is over may experience a delay in processing. When submitting a proposed order after the session is over, you must submit an original, one copy, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Please refer to CRC 2.100 – 2.119 and CRC 3.1312 for specific details.

After argument, the Judge takes the matter under submission. How will I know when the Judge rules and what the ruling is?

In most cases, the Judge will ask you to submit a proposed order as if you had prevailed. You must send this order in with a cover letter setting forth when the matter was heard and taken under submission. On the envelope, please write SUBMITTED MATTER. Always check the Web site http://sfsuperiorcourt.org, the official San Francisco Superior Court Web site. If an order is signed, it will be filed and scanned. By accessing the Court's Web site, you can view the Order and in most cases, print it. If the Register of Actions does not reflect a ruling, then the Court has not decided the matter yet.

Can I appear by telephone?

Yes. During the current public health crisis, all appearances by attorneys and parties in the L& Motion and Discovery Departments (including ex parte appearances) must be made telephonically. Telephone appearances must be arranged through Court Call by calling 1-888-88-COURT.