Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

Me, and my mother made a court appearance telephonically via CourtCall for an O.S.C. Hearing in Superior Court. My mom is the in pro per-plaintiff and I translated for her, cause she speaks no english. The judge got angry at me for translating, cause the judge thought that I was acting as an attorney. The judge then said that my mother is to appear in person at his courtroom the next day, so he can question my mother about her case.

My question is: Isn't it illegal for a Judge to communicate/talk to one party, without the other parties, opposing counsels there and for all other parties not having been notified prior about the next day's hearing?

2nd question: Isn't the court supposed to give days/weeks advanced notice (in writing) about a next/continued OSC hearing?

Asked on 3/04/13, 8:11 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Rob Reed Law Office of Robert A. Reed

1) Assuming your mother served the lawsuit and there is opposing counsel, the Judge should have asked opposing counsel to be there, as well. If the lawsuit has not been served, your mother is the only party to talk to.

2) No.

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Answered on 3/04/13, 8:42 pm

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

Sounds like you ARE acting like an attorney for her. No wonder the judge was angry.

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Answered on 3/04/13, 11:25 pm
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

The judge can order a hearing continued to a different day. It doesn't have to be the next day, but it can be. That's probably what happened here.

Parties are usually required to give advance notice to the court and to each other when they file motions. Courts are not bound by the same rules.

The fact that you were translating for your mother does not mean you weren't also acting as her advocate. A translator is only supposed to translate and, where needed, ask for clarification. If you inserted your own ideas into the proceeding then you crossed a line. Since I don't know what was said, I can't say whether you acted improperly or how serious any violation might have been.

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Answered on 3/05/13, 10:59 am

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