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C.S. v. W.O.

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Fourth Division

September 26, 2014

C.S., Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
W.O., Defendant and Respondent.

APPEAL from orders of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. BF036276 Christine W. Byrd, Judge.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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COUNSEL

Sidley Austin, Mark E. Haddad and Francis S. Lam for Plaintiff and Appellant.

No appearance for Defendant and Respondent.

Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice, Sarah Reisman and Suma Mathai, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Family Violence Appellate Project, Inner City Law Center, Legal Aid Association of California, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Public Counsel, and Western Center on Law and Poverty as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiff and Appellant.

OPINION

MANELLA, J.

Appellant C.S. submitted two applications for waiver of court fees and costs based on her receipt of public benefits. The trial court

Page 26

denied the applications, concluding in the exercise of its discretion that appellant was not entitled to such waiver because she received financial assistance from family and friends. Finding that appellant met the statutory requirements for a fee waiver and that the relevant statutes do not permit a court to deny a fee waiver to an applicant who meets such criteria, we reverse.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Appellant C.S. was involved in a family law dispute with her ex-boyfriend, W.O., over the custody of their daughter, H. In 2009, appellant requested and was granted a fee waiver that allowed her to participate ...


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