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Hall of Justice

Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: General Information: Rules of Court: Department Rules: Probate Department 502

Probate Court 502 Policies and Procedures - Honorable John B. Scherling
Central Division, New Central Courthouse
Effective June 30, 2021

Honorable John B. Scherling, Presiding

Probate Department Courtroom Staff:

Court Clerk: TBD
Bailiff: TBD


(619) 844-2052

Remote Appearances

Court appearances may be made either in person or virtually, unless otherwise ordered by the Court. Virtual appearances must be made using the department’s Microsoft Teams (“MS Teams”) video link; or by calling the department’s MS Teams conference phone number and using the assigned conference ID number. The MS Teams video conference links and phone numbers can be found at


Contested and/or Personal Appearance Ex Parte Applications

Contested Ex Parte Applications, or those where counsel wishes to see the Judge, will be heard on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. and Fridays at 8:30 a.m. Moving papers, and declarations, must be filed in the business office by 10:00 a.m. on the court day preceding the hearing. A reservation may be obtained by coming into the business office and submitting the Probate Ex Parte Coversheet (PR-136) with an ex parte petition and order. There is a limit on the number of reservations.  The Court will not hear contested matters unless the moving papers show extraordinary circumstances.

Parties appearing ex parte must serve the application, or any written opposition, on all other appearing parties at the first reasonable opportunity. Absent exceptional circumstances, no hearing shall be conducted unless such service has been made.


All Ex Parte Matters

A party seeking ex parte relief must provide notice in compliance with California Rules of Court, rule 3.1203, to all persons entitled to notice. A separate Declaration of Notice that complies with California Rules of Court, rule 3.1204, must accompany every request for an Ex Parte order. The Court will not consider a request to waive notice when the recipient or the recipient's address is unknown unless the declaration required by the California Rules of Court 7.52 is submitted.
In addition to compliance with the California Rules of Court 3.1200 et seq.,all applicants for ex parte relief must comply with the San Diego Superior Court Rules, 4.7.5 and 4.7.6.

Counsel are reminded that an Ex Parte application requires an affirmative factual showing by Declaration containing competent testimony based on personal knowledge of irreparable harm, immediate danger, or any other basis for Ex Parte relief.

Ex Parte Applications must include a separately prepared Order.


Law and Motion

Law and Motion matters are heard at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, in accordance with the California Rules of Court. In most cases, the Court will post a Tentative Ruling by Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. The ruling may be accessed online at the probate section of the court's website, If all counsel wish to submit on the Tentative Ruling rather than appear for argument, please contact the department clerk to advise the Court.

Deadlines for filing Law and Motion Pleadings are governed by the Code of Civil Procedure and the California Rules of Court. Provisions of Division IV of the San Diego Superior Court Rules that are otherwise applicable to probate matters are not applicable to Law and Motion matters and will not be observed by the Court to the extent that they are inconsistent with the Code of Civil Procedure. Late pleadings will not be considered.

If a matter settles, or a hearing otherwise becomes unnecessary, counsel should notify the Clerk at the earliest opportunity so that limited Court resources will not be wasted reviewing the matter.


Case Management Conferences

The Court expects compliance with San Diego Superior Court Rule 4.22.6 in advance of all Case Management Conferences, unless compliance is expressly waived by the Court.


Trials and Evidentiary Hearings

The Court's hearing schedule is from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a 15-minute recess in the morning and afternoon. Counsel must complete their matters within the time allotted.

Counsel are reminded of the provisions of San Diego Superior Court rules 4.22.8 and 4.22.9, relating to Trial Readiness Conferences, and rule 4.22.11, relating to motions in limine and trial briefs.

Guidelines for parties and witnesses appearing remotely for trials and evidentiary hearings in this department can be found here. Please confirm with the Clerk that exhibits have been properly marked prior to the commencement of trial.


Hearings on Sales of Real Property

This department presides over all Reports of Sale and Petitions for Order Confirming Sale of Real Property (JC Form #DE-260/GC-060) that are filed in Probate. These matters are heard on Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m.

When there is a successful overbid in open court on a sale of real property, an “Increased Bid in Open Court” (SDSC PR-065) must be completed, signed, and filed with the court before the conclusion of the hearing; otherwise, confirmation is not effective.

Likewise, any overbidding party must present an appropriate deposit when submitting the SDSC PR-65 form at the hearing. Potential overbidding parties are encouraged to confer with the moving party prior to the hearing so the moving party can ascertain whether the overbidding party is qualified to bid, typically by presenting a cashier's check with respect to the deposit for the intended bid.

Due to the foregoing logistical requirements, the court encourages the moving party and any overbidding party to appear in person at the hearing to minimize the necessity for a continuance.



For matters that are set to be heard on the Court's "Miscellaneous" Probate calendar, which is held on Fridays at 10:00 a.m., the Court conducts Telecourt on the preceding Thursday at 3:30 p.m. For matters that are set to be heard in the Court's "Estate Appointments" calendar, which is held on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., as well as matters that are set to be heard on the Court's "Accountings" calendars, which are held on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. and 2:45 for continued matters, the Court conducts Telecourt on the immediately preceding Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.

Telecourt is not available for the “Guardianship Appointment” calendar called on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m., the “Conservatorship Appointment” calendar called on Thursday at 1:45 p.m., or the “Review Hearing” calendar called at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesdays.   Personal appearances are required for these calendars.
The Telecourt phone number is (619) 844-2817.

Telecourt is appropriate only for non-contested matters that are ready for pre-approval and non-contested requests for continuances.  The Court will not continue a matter during Telecourt unless all parties who have appeared in the matter agree in advance to the request, including court appointed counsel and guardians ad litem.

Thank you,

Judge John B. Scherling

Policies and Procedures

Central Division - Central Courthouse
Department 703 
Hon. Judy S. Bae
Department 904 
Hon. Lisa R. Rodriguez
Department 1603 
Hon. Robert C. Longstreth
Probate Department 502 
Hon. John B. Scherling
Probate Department 503 
Hon. Julia Craig Kelety
Probate Department 504 
Hon. Jeffrey S. Bostwick

Central Division - Hall of Justice
Department 64 
Hon. John S. Meyer
Department 65 
Hon. Ronald F. Frazier
Department 66 
Hon. Kenneth J. Medel
Department 67 
Hon. Eddie C. Sturgeon
Department 68 
Hon. Richard S. Whitney
Department 69 
Hon. Katherine A. Bacal
Department 70 
Hon. Carolyn M. Caietti
Department 71 
Hon. Gregory W. Pollack
Department 72 
Hon. Timothy B. Taylor
Department 73 
Hon. Joel R. Wohlfeil
Department 74 
Hon. Keri Katz
Department 75 
Hon. Richard E. L. Strauss

North County Division
Department N-27 
Hon. Cynthia A. Freeland
Department N-28 
Hon. Earl H. Maas, III
Department N-29 
Hon. Robert P. Dahlquist
Department N-31 
Hon. Blaine K. Bowman
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