Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

Can my wife represent me in civil court?

I have a continuance to appear in court at a future date as we have a request for a restraining order against a defendant. The restraining order is in my name as the plaintiff and I am out of state. The state is California.

Asked on 6/12/13, 1:27 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services
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Unless she is a lawyer, absolutely not. In most courts the judge will not even let her speak. Not to mention the fact that she could be held in contempt of court for attempting to practice law without a license, and if she really angered the judge could be arrested for a misdemeanor crime of practicing without a license. Obtain a further continuance if you cannot appear in person, or hire an attorney to appear. Or change your travel plans. Those are your only options.

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6/12/13, 1:33 pm
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
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Only licensed attorneys can represent other people in court. There is no exception for spouses. Presumably you wouldn't have asked this question if your wife was a lawyer. Unless I'm wrong about that, the answer is no.

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6/12/13, 2:28 pm
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach
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I disagree with the previous answers to some extent. In small claims court, one spouse can represent another spouse if they have a joint interest in the claim or defense, and the represented spouse has given his or her consent. One spouse may not represent the other, however, if the court finds that justice would not be served.

The problem with your case is that it is not in small claims court. Restraining orders are heard in general unlimited jurisdiction courts, so you cannot have her represent you while you are out of town.

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6/12/13, 2:30 pm
John Laurie Gertz and Laurie
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Not unless she is an attorney. You can however hire an attorney to represent you.

This gratuitous response does not create an attorney client relationship. The advice provided herein is generic, may not apply to your circumstances and is not to be relied upon in your actions. An attorney client relationship is created only upon execution of an engagement letter hiring me or my firm.

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6/12/13, 9:46 pm

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