Court Proceedings in the Family Court

Court Proceedings in the Family Court

Special Process Servers:

New as of 01/01/2024:
See the following link for information on using a special process server:
 Information on the Use of Special Process Servers


A civil case is initiated with the filing of a "Petition." All petition filings require the original, plus one copy of the petition unless a specific rule or rules require the filing of additional copies. An accompanying data information sheet should be included with the documents. A filing fee is due at the time of filing (fees vary depending on petition type). After filing, the Clerk of Court shall prepare a summons and shall direct that a copy of the summons and petition be personally served upon the respondent named in the petition. Once service of process (Summons & Petition) has been made upon the respondent, the court shall schedule the matter for the appropriate hearing.


Mediation is a required Family Court process where persons are given an opportunity to resolve their differences and make their own agreement which, when signed by a Judge or Commissioner, becomes an Order of the Court.
 A Guide to Mediation in the Family Court. Available in Spanish.

Your Court Hearing:

Learn what is a court hearing, tips on how to prepare for a court hearing and how to state your case at the court hearing.
 Preparing for Your Family Court Hearing and Submitting Evidence


Proceedings may be instituted by filing of information, petition or complaint, or as otherwise provided by the Constitution of this State; by statute or by rule. The complaint is a written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged. It shall be made upon oath, and may be based upon personal knowledge or upon reasonable information and belief. A complaint filed in another court may be forwarded to the Family Court, or, if appropriate, a committing magistrate may issue a warrant for the person alleged to have violated any law, within the jurisdiction of the Family Court.
 Criminal Cases in the Familiy Court
 Casos penales en el Tribunal de Familia


Arbitration is an informal Family Court proceeding where a specially trained hearing officer attempts to resolve certain juvenile delinquency cases.
 A Guide to Arbitration in the Family Court.


An arraignment is a formal hearing at which a defendant accused of a crime is brought before the Court to plea to the charges brought against him/her. The defendant is made aware of the charges, the legal rights and at this time, may enter a plea of guilty or not guilty before the Court.
 A Guide to Arraignments in the Family Court. Available in Spanish.


 Change of Address
 Guide to Subpoenas
 Review of Commissioner's Order/Re-arguments


Family Court Glossary of Legal Terms


 Como prepararse para su audiencia judicial
 Una Guia Para Entender La Mediacion En El Tribunal De Familia
 Guia Sobre La Lectura De Cargos En El Juzgado De Familia
 Casos penales en el Tribunal de Familia