Articles Tagged with short trial

underwood-primer-short-cause-trials-300x300The purpose of this article is to explain what a short cause trial is. A short cause case is a civil case where the parties or court estimate the trial will take five hours or less. Because of a short cause trial’s brevity, these types of cases can get priority in the courtroom. These trials can fill time slots between longer, bigger cases so they may be heard earlier. 

Short cause trials are common in family law court but can also arise in property disputes. Short cause trials are frequently used to address smaller legal issues and attorney fees and costs. (In re Marriage of Garcia (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 1334, 1340–1341.) Just like a long cause trial, it is possible to appeal the judgment granted in a short cause trial. 

However, just because a matter is tried as a short cause case does not mean it is or should be treated as less important by the courts. If an issue is tried too quickly it will be remanded. For example, a 15-minute trial to decide how to split shared property from a 25-year marriage is much too short to decide such complex issues. (In re Marriage of Brantner (1977) 67 Cal.App.3d 416, 422.) Such a trial would be remanded and deemed an abuse of discretion by the trial court who took so little time for the issue. 

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