What is a Tentative Ruling?

When a motion is filed in Department 53 or Department 54, the Court will issue a "Tentative Ruling."

The Tentative Ruling states how the Judge intends to rule on the motion. The ruling is based on the papers filed by the parties and the applicable laws.

The Court issues the Tentative Ruling after 2:00 pm, one court/business day before the hearing on the motion. If the hearing is on a Monday, the Court will post it on Friday. Keep holidays in mind as well.

A party can contest the tentative ruling if:

  • Oral argument may change the court's decision;
  • The record needs to be clarified; or
  • The grounds for the court's decision are unclear from its tentative ruling.

How to Access the Tentative Ruling

Look up the tentative ruling by:

  1. Visiting: Tentative Ruling Search By Department
    • Click on "Department".
    • Select the Department listed on the motion paperwork.
    • Select the date of your hearing listed on the motion paperwork.
    • Open the document, and scroll down to find the name of your case.
  2. Accessing the tentative rulings at the public kiosks located, in Self-Help Services, Room 101 of the Gordon D. Schaber Courthouse or Room 212 of the Hall of Justice Building.
  3. Check your tentative ruling for the most up-to-date instructions for court appearances, including the procedure to request oral argument.
    • Department 53: 916-874-7858
    • Department 54: 916-874-7848

If You Agree With The Tentative Ruling...

You do not need to do anything. If the other party disagrees, they must contact you and the court by 4:00 pm the same day. If the other party does not contact you by 4:00 pm, the Tentative Ruling will become the order of the Court at the hearing.

If You Disagree With The Tentative Ruling...

Call the Law and Motion Oral Argument Request Line at (916) 874-2615 by 4:00 p.m. the Court day before the hearing and advise opposing counsel.

Leave a message with the following information:

  • Your name, and that you want to appear
  • The item number (to the left of your case number on the Tentative Ruling)
  • That you have let the other parties know you are appearing, and that they can appear via Zoom.

If The Other Party Disagrees With The Tentative Ruling...

The other party may call to inform you oral argument has been requested. You may attend the hearing to discuss the matter with the Judge.

If The Tentative Ruling Says, "Appearance Required"...

Attend the hearing. You may appear remotely via Zoom.gov. Refer to the instructions at the top of the tentative ruling for information on how to appear.