Vista, CA Family (Civil) Court Complaint Process

There is extreme incompetence “functioning” from all levels at the San Diego County Superior Court, Family (Civil) Court Division.  Some of my experiences include, but not limited to, the following:

Filing Clerks turning me away and refusing to accept my filings for what they told me were “procedural” errors (advising me to return with “Signature Forms” and “Cover Sheets” that were not needed) to only determine later, that I was correct and they were wrong.

Court Transcribers who “failed” to document important details of my case.

Incompetent Commissioners who were not reading the case ahead of time (and were doing a poor job at “scanning”) and had no idea what the most important details were.

Commissioner Lowe pleading with me to abandon my Contempt filing against the ex husband because “Contempt Cases are difficult and a lot of hard work” when I had 4 witnesses that he was continuing to harass me against her stated court orders.

But, for the 2-months that my Contempt Hearing for husband’s harassment against judge’s orders sat on the calendar, ex continued to harass me and I was unable to file retraining orders against him because I already filed a Contempt charge.

I was in extreme danger while the Contempt Hearing sat on the court calendar for months and then when the date was close, Commissioner Lowe confused me into abandoning it. I later discovered that she did this to save court time and money.

Judge Lowe was supporting the abuser, and not protecting the abused, because it was easier. 

Positive Note: There is an anti-harassment order against ex husband permanently written in our divorce settlement.

A “Settlement Judge” (an attorney that volunteers as “Settlement Judge” to rise in the “ranks” and to enhance his credentials) who wanted to look good in front of my judge so he both cajoled me (you’re the big- person; you’re sweet and beautiful) and frightened me into giving everything away because my ex husband was “crazy” (Settlement Judge told my attorney and myself that he could tell the ex husband was “crazy” because of my immense contribution to the marriage, the husband floundering away my extreme investment, and then husband had the “take all and leave wife destitute” mentality). 

The Settlement Judge encouraging me to walk away from everything that was owed to me because the ex husband is “crazy” is supporting the abuser.

We all need to speak up and against the gross wrongdoings of the extreme dysfunction of the Vista, CA family court system. Here are some ways to do this:

1. Written complaints regarding Vista, CA Family Court Judges/Commissioners:

Supervising Family Law Judge, Maureen Hallahan

1555 6th Avenue

San Diego, CA 92101

Department F5

2. Online Form SDSC CIV-249, To Request Change/Reassignment of Judge/Commissioner in Family Court Cases:,1524469&_dad=portal

a. Click on above link. b. Click on “Forms” c. In upper right “search box,” input 249. d. Click on first choice, “PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE.”

3.  Complaint Form regarding other Vista, CA family court matters, including Mediators/Counselors.  This form does not include Judges/Commissioners (see above).  Same procedure as above but input FCS 044 into “search box”:

Form: FCS 044

4.  Procedural/General Questions regarding your Family Court Case:

Call: 760-201-8600

Press: 1 (English), then 4, then 0

Phone Hours: M-Th: 8:00-12:00, 1:00-4:30, Friday: 8:00-12:00

You may be on hold for a while.