Apr. 18, 2014
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Law & Motion and Discovery

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.

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. Before filing a motion the moving party must obtain a hearing date and reservation number from the Court by sending an email to calendar302@sftc.org between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - Noon. If a litigant does not have an email address the litigant may call the Law and Motion department at (415) 551-3688 between 8:00 a.m. - Noon to obtain a hearing date. The reservation number must be typed on the caption page of the notice of motion upon submission of filing. 
  • Parties do not need to obtain a hearing date prior to filing a Discovery Motions. 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 Housing 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 calling (415) 551-3720 between 9 a. m. and 4 p.m.
  • 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.
  • For Law and Motion scheduling, see San Francisco Local Rule 8.
  • 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 Housing 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 11 a.m. on Tuesdays in the Housing 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 calling (415) 551-3720 between 2 and 4 p.m.

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 Housing 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 calendar302@sftc.org between the hours of 8:00a.m. and 12 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?
File all papers in the Clerk’s Office, Room 103 of the Civic Center Courthouse. After filing, lodge a courtesy copy (our work copy) 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.
How do I schedule an ex-parte matter?

(This answer pertains only to the Law & Motion and Discovery Department as other departments have different procedures and requirements. If you are unsure which department hears what, please refer to the San Francisco Superior Court rules for clarification.) Most ex-parte applications do not require advanced scheduling. The only matters that require scheduling are writs and receivers applications, writs of attachments, writs of possession and protective orders. For all others, please proceed as follows:

  • 1. You must notice the other party by phone that you are appearing ex-parte to get an order signed by 10 a.m. the day before filing.
  • 2. File your ex-parte application and any supporting documents in Room 103 at the Civic Center Courthouse. Be prepared to pay a $40 filing fee.
  • 3. Ex-parte applications are heard Monday - Friday at 11 a.m. in Department 302.
  • 4. There is a sign-in procedure when you get to the courtroom.
  • 5. Your matter will then be called by the Judge's legal research attorney who will hear the argument from both sides. The Judge will be briefed accordingly and if an order is signed, it will be filed by the courtroom clerk. PLEASE BRING COPIES with you.
Can I appear by telephone?
Yes, in most cases. In certain cases, the Court will reserve the right to refuse telephonic appearances. Follow CRC 3.670 regarding telephonic appearances. Failure to make a timely request will require your appearance in Court. Court Call currently handles telephonic appearances for the San Francisco Superior Court. You may contact them at (888) 882-6878 or (310) 572-4670.

Judge Ernest L. Goldsmith

Contact Information & Hours

Judge Ernest L. Goldsmith
Department 302
 400 McAllister St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

Contact Information for Department 302 Staff

Court Clerk for Department 302 - (415) 551-3723
Calendar Clerk for Department 302 - (415) 551-3823
To Request a Hearing email calendar302@sftc.org or call (415) 551-3688 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - Noon
Court Reporter for Department 302 - Anthony Vaughn (415) 551 - 5868

Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., except Court holidays

© 2014 Superior Court of California - County of San Francisco