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Limited Parking at Juvenile Justice Center

The County of Kern is installing solar panels in the parking lot of Public Health. This will impact parking at the Juvenile Justice Center. The project is expected to last through May 1, 2024.

Family Court Investigations

Child Custody Evaluations

In some cases, the court may appoint a Family Court Services Investigator to evaluate a family and make recommendations about visitation and custody. The goal of a child custody evaluation is to provide the Court and the parties with objective information and recommendations about a family to assist the Court in issuing orders in highly contested custody disputes. The investigator conducting the child custody evaluation is a neutral mental health professional and is knowledgeable in the areas of how divorce affects children. There are two types of evaluations:

  • Fully Custody Evaluation This is a comprehensive examination of the health, safety, welfare, and best interest of the child. The examination involves multiple interviews with the family, extensive review of collateral information and results in a written report.
  • Partial Custody Evaluation This is an examination of the health, safety, and best interest of the child that is limited by the court order in either time or scope.

When the Court orders a child custody evaluation, the parties have ten business days to complete a and submit it to Family Court Services:

Family Court Services
1215 Truxtun Ave., Room 301
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Child Custody questionnaire 

Child Custody questionnaire - Spanish

Freedom from Parental Custody and Control Investigation

Family Court Services investigates matters for Freedom from Parental Custody and Control of a child. After a petition has been filed with the court, Family Court orders an investigation as to these matters. An investigator will conduct an independent review of the case, interview the parties, which includes the minors. The investigator assesses whether the criteria to terminate the parental rights has been met, and whether it is in the best interest of the minor for the petition to be granted. A report is completed with a recommendation to the Court.

FCS Abandonment Questionnaire

Stepparent Adoption Investigation

Stepparents who wish to adopt a child of the stepparent’s spouse may for that purpose file a petition with the Family Law Department. A Family Court Services investigator will conduct an independent review of the case, interview the parties, which includes the minors, and complete a report with a recommendation to the Court as to the best interest of the minor.

FCS Stepparent Questionnaire

Recommending Counseling for Requests of Minors to Marry

California law requires a person under the age of 18 to obtain consent from at least one parent or guardian and permission in the form of a court order. The Court has the discretion to grant permission for a minor to marry or establish a domestic partnership. A Family Court Services investigator will interview the parties and may recommend the parties participate in premarital counseling. The investigator will file a report with Family Court.

Minor Marriages Questionnaire

Subpoena Process for Investigators

Parties requesting the presence of a Family Court Services (FCS) Investigator at a court hearing may serve an official subpoena (form SUBP-001 available here) on the FCS Management Team at 1215 Truxtun Avenue, Room 301, Bakersfield, California. The subpoenaing party shall serve the subpoena at least 10 calendar days before the hearing.

Before serving the subpoena, the party must first contact FCS to confirm the investigator’s availability on the scheduled hearing date and time. FCS can be contacted at FCS@kern.courts.ca.gov or (661) 610-6700.

At the time of serving the subpoena, the parties shall provide a receipt of the witness fees of $275 paid in full with the Family Law Department or evidence of the court approved fee waiver of the case. The exception to these requirements is court appointed counsel. They are not required to pay the witness fees or provide evidence of a court approved fee waiver.

If the hearing for which the subpoena applies is taken off-calendar or continued, the subpoenaing party shall notify the FCS Investigator at their earliest opportunity. The subpoenaing party shall notify the FCS Investigator by contacting them at (661) 610-6700 or by email at FCS@kern.courts.ca.gov

If the investigator’s appearance will still be required, but for a continued hearing date, a new subpoena will not be necessary if the subpoenaing party does both of the following:

  • contact FCS, at their earliest opportunity, to determine the investigator’s availability on the continued hearing date; and
  • email a notice to FCS at FCS@kern.courts.ca.gov, confirming the continued hearing date and time for which the investigator’s appearance is required. This email notification shall set forth the parties’ names, the Kern County Superior Court case number, the name of the FCS investigator, and the continued hearing date and time.

In order to process a refund of any unused portion of the party’s deposit, a written request must be submitted to the Court by email (at Revenue@kern.courts.ca.gov), dropped off at Court reception, or by U.S. Mail (at Kern County Superior Court, 1415 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield 93301, to the attention of: Finance Department) following the conclusion of the trial.

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