Lief v. Superior CourtAnnotate this Case
Petitioner Yaron Lief and real party in interest Pnina Nissan met in Israel in 2010. Nissan moved to San Diego and married Lief in 2011. They had a son in 2014. Lief filed a marital dissolution action against Nissan in 2017. The family court bifurcated the issue of custody and visitation, held a trial on Nissan's request to move with the child to Israel, and tentatively granted the request. The court ultimately entered a judgment granting Nissan's move-away request on November 7, 2018. After receiving notice from Nissan that she intended to depart for Israel with the child on November 22, Lief filed an ex parte application with the family court for an order preventing the move-away until after December 7, when the 30-day stay of the judgment granting the move-away request would have expired. The court ruled its August 10, 2018 order tentatively granting Nissan's move-away request started the stay period running, denied Lief's application on November 21, and ordered Lief to turn over the child to Nissan that evening. Lief petitioned the Court of Appeal for a writ of mandate and requested an immediate stay of the ex parte order purporting to allow Nissan to move to Israel with the child on November 22, 2018. The Court of Appeal found the family court erred when it ruled the 30-day statutory stay commenced with its August 10 decision, tentatively granting Nissan's move-away request: the court's oral statement of its decision at the end of the August 10 hearing was not a judgment or order. The period began to run when the family court filed the judgment granting Nissan's move-away request on November 7. "To correct the family court's error in ruling the stay began to run on August 10, 2018, issuance of a peremptory writ in the first instance is appropriate."