In Service To Families, Children & The Courts

Domestic Violence Update 2013

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Domestic Violence Update

Legal & Social Science Update for California Rule of Court 5.230

November 8, 2013  |  Colusa Hall on the CSU, Chico Campus


Part 1: Presented by Emberly Cross, JD, MSW, Coordinating Attorney

This segment meets the requirements of Rule of Court 5.215(j)(2), which requires all Family Court Services staff to “complete 16 hours of advanced domestic violence training within the first 12 months of employment and 4 hours of domestic violence update training each year thereafter,” and which suggests that “Family Court Services programs should, where possible, enable support staff, including but not limited to clerical staff, to participate in training on domestic violence and in handling domestic violence cases appropriately.”  It further meets the requirements of Rule of Court 5.230, which requires child custody investigators and evaluators to obtain 16 hours of advanced training in domestic violence issues and 4 hours of update training each year, which must include “an update of changes or modifications in local court practices, case law, and state and federal legislation related to domestic violence.”  

Learning Objectives:
  • Explore the continuing changes in Family Courts as a result of the Judicial Council’s Elkins Task Force
  • Understand the requirements surrounding and options available for children wishing to participate in child custody cases in Family Court
  • Identify changes in civil and criminal laws affecting domestic violence survivors, perpetrators, and their children
  1. Updates in laws regarding restraining orders
  2. Miscellaneous civil legislation affecting DV survivors and their children
  3. Domestic violence criminal laws update
  4. Legislation to watch in 2014
  5. Family court updates:  
  6. Competing paternity presumptions
  7. Implementation of AB 1050 (Child custody: preference of the child)
  8. Implementation of AB 939 (implementing Elkins recommendations and more)

Part 2: Presented by Commissioner Marjorie A. Slabach, JD (ret)

Learning Objectives: Attendees will understand:
  • The role of a mental health professional in the court system.
  • The point of view of the law and the judge in a family law/domestic violence case
  • The civil procedure of a Family Court
  • How best to assist the client/patient in the court system
Topics Covered: What a Mental Health Professional Needs to Know About the Court Process
  1. Civil Procedure – Jurisdiction re D.V. and other Family Law Matters
  2. The Pleadings
  3. Other Legalese


Emberly Cross PhotoEmberly C. Cross, JD MSW, Coordinating Attorney
Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, San Francisco CA

Emberly Cross has been the Coordinating Attorney at the Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic in San Francisco since 1996, helping survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking obtain restraining orders and child custody and support orders. She obtained her law degree and her Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan. Prior to working at CROC, she was in private practice in family law in San Francisco.

Before practicing law, she was on staff at the University of Michigan’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center in Ann Arbor, where she directed the sexual assault and dating violence crisis line and the sexual assault emergency response team on campus. She has served on the Board of Directors of W.O.M.A.N., Inc. in San Francisco, which provides a 24-hour crisis line and non-shelter based counseling to domestic violence survivors. She has volunteered with domestic violence and sexual assault crisis lines and emergency response teams in San Francisco and in Michigan.

Emberly currently sits on the California Judicial Council’s Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee and on the Administrative Office of the Court’s Violence Against Women Education Project Planning Committee.  She has been a member of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence’s Public Policy and Research Committee since 1995 and co-chaired its Children Witnessing Domestic Violence subcommittee.  She routinely conducts trainings on restraining orders as well as domestic violence legislative and social science updates in the Bay Area and throughout California.

Marjorie Slabach, JD
Certified Family Law Specialist, San Francisco, CA

The Honorable Marjorie Slabach, JD, is a Certified Family Law Specialist and retired San Francisco Superior Court Commissioner in the Unified Family Court.  After fourteen years on the bench she is now a Private Judge doing case management and settlement conferences.  Prior to her tenure on the bench she worked with teenagers as an English teacher for many years.  She then chose to become a lawyer to represent parents and children in family law matters. 

Commissioner Slabach is a frequent lecturer and panel member educating attorneys and judges in the area of family law with a specialty in child custody. 

She is a board member of the California Chapter of the Association of Family Court Conciliation where she heads a task force to explore alternative models for serving families in the court system.  She is a board member of Overcoming Barriers, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the child’s relationship with each parent in high conflict cases.   She was named the 2010 Judicial Officer of the Year by the Family Law Section of the State Bar of California.