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Horvitz & Levy is a solutions-based firm focused on appellate success. We are distinguished by our commitment to responsive service and on-going innovation in the areas of civil appellate litigation, amicus curiae support, and trial strategy consultation.

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S. R., a client of the non-profit legal services organization the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, sought to file an action for dissolution of her marriage and for custody of her two children. Her husband has been in and out of jail for beating her, among other things. S. R.’s children have been kept from her by her husband’s parents. Because S. R.’s income is minimal and is exceeded by her expenses, she requested under Government Code section 68632 that the superior court waive the filing fee for her action. The court denied the request, stating at one point during the hearing, “You have had a year without your kids, and you’re telling me that you haven’t been able to save up $400 for the divorce?”

As pro bono counsel, Horvitz & Levy LLP filed a writ petition in the Court of Appeal challenging the denial of S. R.’s fee waiver request. Within 24 hours, that court (Second District, Division Seven) — citing legal authorities on which the writ petition was relying — asked the superior court to file opposition. After the superior court filed its opposition, Horvitz & Levy filed a reply. The Court of Appeal then issued an alternative writ of mandate, which again cited the same legal authorities and directed the superior court to either grant S. R.’s fee waiver request or to show cause why the Court of Appeal should not order that it be granted. The superior court granted the fee waiver request and S. R. promptly began her action to dissolve her marriage and regain custody of her children.