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II. GENERAL PROCEDURES
§2.01 Commissioners and Referees
If you are a commissioner, you may serve as temporary judge by express stipulation, depending on your local rules. As such, your decisions and orders are final and not subject to rehearing. A “tantamount stipulation” may be implied from the conduct of the parties and attorneys. [See In re Horton (1991) 54 C3d 82, 98; In re Brittany K. (2002) 96 CA4th 805, 815.]
If you are a qualified referee, you may conduct juvenile court hearings and perform subordinate judicial duties as assigned by the juvenile court presiding judge. [CRC 5.536(a).] You generally have the same power as judges and may hear dependency cases without a stipulation, except that the presiding judge may require that a judge approve certain orders before becoming effective. [WIC §§248, 250, 251; In re Mark B. (2007) 149 CA4th 61, 80 (a juvenile court referee is authorized to make almost any order, subject to rehearing by a juvenile court judge, that a judge could make).] If you order the physical removal of a child from a legal custodian, a judge must approve your order within two court days before it becomes effective. [WIC §249; CRC 5.540(b).]
If you are a referee, you can avoid the need for judicial approval of your orders by obtaining a stipulation to act as a temporary judge. [See Cal Const art VI, §21; CRC 5.536(b).]
CRC 2.816 establishes how to obtain a stipulation.