Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 17. SUPPORT SERVICES [17000 - 17804]

  ( Division 17 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. )

CHAPTER 5. Complaint Resolution [17800 - 17804]
  ( Chapter 5 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 803, Sec. 2. )

17800.
  

Each local child support agency shall maintain a complaint resolution process. The department shall specify by regulation, no later than July 1, 2001, uniform forms and procedures that each local child support agency shall use in resolving all complaints received from custodial and noncustodial parents. A complaint shall be made within 90 days after the custodial or noncustodial parent affected knew or should have known of the child support action complained of. The local child support agency shall provide a written resolution of the complaint within 30 days of the receipt of the complaint. The director of the local child support agency may extend the period for resolution of the complaint an additional 30 days in accordance with the regulations adopted pursuant to Section 17804.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 755, Sec. 21. Effective October 12, 2001.)

17801.
  

(a) A custodial or noncustodial parent who is dissatisfied with the local child support agency’s resolution of a complaint shall be accorded an opportunity for a state hearing when one or more of the following actions or failures to take action by the department or the local child support agency is claimed by the parent:

(1) An application for child support services has been denied or has not been acted upon within the required timeframe.

(2) The child support services case has been acted upon in violation of state or federal law or regulation or department letter ruling, or has not yet been acted upon within the required timeframe, including services for the establishment, modification, and enforcement of child support orders and child support accountings.

(3) Child support collections have not been distributed or have been distributed or disbursed incorrectly, or the amount of child support arrears, as calculated by the department or the local child support agency is inaccurate. The amount of the court order for support, including current support and arrears, is not subject to a state hearing under this section.

(4) The child support agency’s decision to close a child support case.

(b) Prior to requesting a hearing pursuant to subdivision (a), the custodial or noncustodial parent shall exhaust the complaint resolution process required in Section 17800, unless the local child support agency has not, within the 30-day period required by that section, submitted a written resolution of the complaint. If the custodial or noncustodial parent does not receive that timely written resolution, the custodial parent may request a hearing pursuant to subdivision (a).

(c) A hearing shall be provided under subdivision (a) when the request for a hearing is made within 90 days after receiving the written notice of resolution required in Section 17800 or, if no written notice of resolution is provided within 30 days from the date the complaint was made, within 90 days after making the complaint.

(d) (1) A hearing under subdivision (a) shall be set to commence within 45 days after the request is received by the state hearing office, and at least 10 days prior to the hearing, all parties shall be given written notice of the time and place of the hearing. Unless the time period is waived by the complainant, the proposed hearing decision shall be rendered by the state hearing office within 75 days after the request for a state hearing is received by the state hearing office. The department shall have 15 days from the date the proposed decision is rendered to act upon the decision. When a hearing is postponed, continued, or reopened with the consent of the complainant, the time for issuance of the decision, and action on the decision by the department, shall be extended for a period of time consistent with the postponement, continuance, or reopening.

(2) For purposes of this subdivision, the “state hearing office” refers to the division of the office or agency designated by the department to carry out state hearings, that conducts those state hearings.

(e) To the extent not inconsistent with this section, hearings under subdivision (a) shall be provided in the same manner in which hearings are provided in Sections 10950 to 10967 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and the State Department of Social Services’ regulations implementing and interpreting those sections.

(f) Pendency of a state hearing shall not affect the obligation to comply with an existing child support order.

(g) A child support determination that is subject to the jurisdiction of the superior court and that is required by law to be addressed by motion, order to show cause, or appeal under this code shall not be subject to a state hearing under this section. The director shall, by regulation, specify and exclude from the subject matter jurisdiction of state hearings provided under subdivision (a), grievances arising from a child support case in the superior court that must, by law, be addressed by motion, order to show cause, or appeal under this code.

(h) The local child support agency shall comply with, and execute, every decision of the director rendered pursuant to this section.

(i) The director shall contract with the State Department of Social Services or the Office of Administrative Hearings for the provision of state hearings in accordance with this section.

(j) This section shall be implemented only to the extent that there is federal financial participation available at the child support funding rate set forth in Section 655(a)(2) of Title 42 of the United States Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 166. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

17803.
  

The custodial or noncustodial parent, within one year after receiving notice of the director’s final decision, may file a petition with the superior court, under Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure, praying for a review of the entire proceedings in the matter, upon questions of law involved in the case. The review, if granted, shall be the exclusive remedy available to the custodial or noncustodial parent for review of the director’s decision. The director shall be the sole respondent in the proceedings. A filing fee shall not be required for the filing of a petition pursuant to this section. Any such petition to the superior court shall be entitled to a preference in setting a date for hearing on the petition. A bond shall not be required in the case of any petition for review, nor in any appeal therefrom. The custodial or noncustodial parent shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, if the parent obtains a decision in their favor.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 167. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

17804.
  

Each local child support agency shall establish the complaint resolution process specified in Section 17800. The department shall implement the state hearing requirements specified in Section 17801 no later than July 1, 2001.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 755, Sec. 22. Effective October 12, 2001.)

FAMFamily Code - FAM