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(10.26) What if I need to postpone (continue) my hearing?

(10.26) What if I need to postpone (continue) my hearing?

You or the regional center can ask the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) to postpone the hearing. This is called asking for a “continuance.”[1]§ 4712. You must have “good cause” for OAH to grant your request. “Good cause” means a good reason.

You can ask to postpone the hearing if:

  • A close relative (like your spouse, parent, child, etc.) dies. Or if your authorized representative, legal guardian, or conservator dies.[2]§ 4712(a)(1).
  • You are sick or your authorized representative is sick.[3]§ 4712(a)(2).
  • There is an emergency. For example, if your representative has to go to court, or has a scheduling conflict beyond their control.[4]§ 4712(a)(3).
  • Your evidence or witnesses are unavailable, and not having the witnesses or evidence would badly hurt your case.[5]§ 4712(a)(4).

To postpone the fair hearing date, you file a “Motion for Continuance of Hearing and Waiver of Time.” Here is the link to the motion form: https://www.dgs.ca.gov/OAH/Case-Types/General-Jurisdiction/Services/Page-Content/General-Jurisdiction-Services-List-Folder/How-do-I-request-a-Continuance.

The form has a space where you need to explain the reason you need to postpone the fair hearing. You may attach any papers that support your need for a continuance.

The form tells you to call the regional center representative and ask if they will agree to postpone the fair hearing. In the space provided on the form, write the name and phone number of the regional center person to whom you spoke. Write on the form whether the person has agreed to or opposed the continuance.

You or your representative should sign the section entitled, “Waiver of the Time Set by Law for Lanterman Act Fair Hearing and Decision.” To be given a continuance, you must agree to “waive” the hearing deadlines. This means you agree the fair hearing will happen later than 50 days after the regional center got your request.

Send the completed continuance form to OAH. OAH does not accept documents by fax. You can mail documents to OAH or call OAH to ask how to send documents electronically. You can also see how to send documents electronically at the OAH website: https://www.dgs.ca.gov/OAH/Services/Page-Content/Office-of-Administrative-Hearings-Services-List-Folder/File-or-Upload-OAH-Case-Documents.  

If you do not have enough time to send a written motion for continuance, call OAH and ask for a continuance over the phone. After you move to continue the fair hearing, check the OAH website to see whether the motion has been granted. You will need to enter your OAH case number to search using this website: https://www.dgs.ca.gov/OAH/Case-Types/General-Jurisdiction/Resources/Page-Content/General-Jurisdiction-Resources-List-Folder/Continuance-Ruling-Search

References
1 § 4712.
2 § 4712(a)(1).
3 § 4712(a)(2).
4 § 4712(a)(3).
5 § 4712(a)(4).