Filing a Request for Order (RFO)
These instructions will help you obtain a hearing date. The staff at the Family Law Facilitator's Office are available to assist you with preparing the paperwork. Detailed information on how to file a RFO can be found on the California Courts website under the "Self-Help" section at http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp
Step 1: Required Forms
Request for Order (JC Form # FL-300): This form is used to notify the other party that there is a court hearing and advises the court and the other party what issues will be heard at the hearing. Below the caption where you write in the names of the parties, check all boxes that apply. For example, if you want to modify child custody and visitation, check the "Modification" box and the "Child Custody" and "Visitation" boxes. This lets the court know what issues need to be decided at the court hearing.
Fill out only the sections that relate to the boxes you checked on the Request for Order form (JC Form # FL-300). List the facts that support your request. If you need additional space, you may use an Attached Declaration (JC Form # MC-031).
Income and Expense Declaration (JC Form # FL-150) (FINANCIAL ISSUES ONLY): This form is required if you want the court to make any orders for support, attorney's fees, or costs.
Family Court Services Screening Form (SDSC Form # FCS-46) (CUSTODY/VISITATION ONLY): This form is used to schedule a Family Court Services appointment.
Step 2: Making copies and filing the paperwork
Sign and date the paperwork that you filled out in Step 1 and make two copies. Bring the originals and the two copies to the court for filing. Statutory fees may apply to file your paperwork with the court. An additional fee may apply for an RFO requesting to modify or enforce custody or visitation. For a current list of applicable fees, consult the current fee schedule. The court accepts cash, checks, Visa, Master Card or American Express. Checks should be made payable to "Clerk of the Court." If you are unable to pay the filing fees, you may complete a Request to Waive Court Fees(JC Form # FW-001) and Order on Court Fee Waiver (JC Form # FW-003).
Once you complete the forms, go to the business office of the court where your existing case is filed. If you are filing a new case go, to the court location listed for your zip code on the Zip Code List (SDSC Form #ADM-254) and present the original and copies to the clerk. The court clerk will return the two copies after they are stamped. One copy is for your records, the other is for service on the other party.
Step 3: Serving the papers
You must serve a copy of all the papers on the other party, along with a blank Responsive Declaration to Request for Order (JC Form # FL-320) and a blank Income and Expense Declaration (JC Form # FL-150) (FINANCIAL ISSUES ONLY). The other party must be served by someone other than you. The person serving the papers must be over the age of eighteen.
Step 4: Filling out the proof of service
The person who serves the paperwork on the other party must complete a Proof of Service. Make sure the address where the other party was served and the date and time (personal service only) of service are complete. Provide the clerk with the original and two copies of the completed proof of service form.
RFO Hearing: Local information on hearings, including how to request to move a hearing date (continuance), is located in Chapter 5 of the San Diego Family Law Local Rules