California Code, Family Code - FAM § 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 any 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 he or she 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) Any 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 which 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 .





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