What Happens When a Party Passes Away Before a Written Judgment is Entered in Orange County?

The deciding issue in Martin was whether a court had jurisdiction to enter a judgment nunc pro tunc when a party passes away before the written judgment is filed, but after an oral judgment is made on the record.


The husband filed for divorce and moved the court to bifurcate the status of marriage. The court orally entered a judgment for dissolution, but before a written judgment could be filed, the husband passed away.


The written judgment was submitted to the court after the death of the husband. The court signed the written judgment and entered it nunc pro tunc. However, several months later, the court set aside its judgment and announced that it lost jurisdiction to enter the written judgment when the husband passed away.


The Second Appellate District Court held that the family law court did not lose jurisdiction over the case. Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 669, if a party passes away after a case is submitted to a judge and before judgment, the court may enter a judgment. Therefore the California family law judge had jurisdiction to enter the judgment even though the party had passed away.

If you need legal advice and are looking for a family law lawyer in Orange County to address a dissolution issue such as entering a judgment nunc pro tunc or any other divorce matter such as legal separation, annulment, spousal support and/or property division, please consider our law office in your divorce attorney search. We are located in Laguna Hills right off Lake Forest exit to both the 405 and 5 freeway.

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TreviƱo Law, Inc.
23151 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Hills, California
Phone (949) 716-2102

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Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for a divorce in Orange County, it does not guarantee that there are other facts which may play a significant part in a dissolution. Circumstances in a divorce case may alter the required action and analysis taken by a family law attorney in California.

Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship.
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