Appearance at pretrial now required by some magistrates despite hearing notice.
The Agency has posted information about replacement of its data system. Magistrate hearing notices will not be updated to conform with new administrative rules as a cost saving measure. Magistrate docket functions will eventually be transferred to the Board of Magistrates and this problem will be corrected.
Chief Magistrate Lisa Klaeren has now ordered that all acknowledgement and notice of pretrial mailings is deemed to contain the following language: Failure of either party to appear may result in Board of Magistrates action as provided by R 792.11303.
Rule 792.1303 provides that an application for hearing is subject to dismissal if the petitioner fails to appear and participate in pretrial. If the respondent fails to appear, then the magistrate may proceed in their absence.
A pretrial notice should be received about 45 days after an Application for Hearing or Mediation is filed. In the past, the magistrate would take no action at pretrial other than setting a new hearing date approximately 60 days later. Parties represented by an attorney need not attend this hearing. It was common practice to pick up the new date during the week.
This rule change is significant because some magistrates are now requiring attendance at pretrial. This date is being used as the scheduling conference with important dates being assigned. It is best to speak with your assigned magistrate regarding his or her procedure. We will update our blog with how this new process is working.
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