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Probate Court

The Probate Division of the Fresno County Superior Court is dedicated to serving the needs of the public in all matters related to Probate, Trusts, Guardianship, Conservatorship, Mental Health, and related cases. We will strive to meet the needs of our customers, and to provide them with professional, courteous, and friendly service. We will provide information and direction where appropriate, promote positive communication, and maintain the integrity of the judicial system.

Probate Department 97A

Preparing and Filing Court Documents

All court forms and documents should be typed or printed using blue-black or black ink. Filing a petition with the Probate Clerk in The B.F. Sisk Courthouse starts the probate proceeding.

Setting a Hearing Date in Probate

When a petition is filed in the Probate Court, the Probate Clerk will assign a hearing date. The petitioner must give notice of the hearing to all parties interested in the probate matter.

Probate Calendar Notes

After a petition is filed, a Probate Court Examiner reviews the pleadings prior to the hearing to ensure they comply with the procedural requirements set forth in the Probate Code.

Probate Examiner Notes

The Probate Examiners review all probate documents for content and legal requirements before they are considered by the Court. Probate Examiner notes may include an identification of the parties involved in the matter, the type of proceeding, and a listing of potential deficiencies.

Any potential deficiencies will be listed on the Probate Examiner Notes and should be addressed and/or corrected before the matter is heard by the Court. Responding to the deficiency includes filing an explanatory declaration, or by using an amendment which corrects information or supplement to add new information to your petition. All documents correcting and/or addressing issues raised in the Probate Examiner notes must be in a file format that is acceptable by the court; e-mails and faxes to the Probate Examiners are not sufficient to cure deficiencies.   

The Probate Examiners may be contacted directly by e-mail.

To identify which Examiner reviewed your matter, please look for the Probate Examiner's initials in the “Reviewed by” portion of the Probate Examiner Notes.

Viewing Probate Examiner’s Notes 

Please read the following important information: 

Probate Examiner Notes are not part of the official Court file.  Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the documents placed on the Court's website, but the Court is not responsible for delays, errors or omissions in these web pages.

To view Examiner's Notes, click the button below, type in your case number, and search:

Examiner’s Notes

PLEASE NOTE: Forms may not display correctly on older versions of Adobe Reader. It is recommended that you upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader. 

Most Forms and Reports on this site are made available in Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF) format. If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, click here.

Remote Video Proceedings

Effective: August 1, 2022, appearances in the Probate Department will be in-person or by pre-approved remote appearance by Zoom pursuant to revised Local Rule 7.21, CCP section 367.75 and CRC rule 3.672.  The revised rule also replaces the Emergency Local Rule 7.24 for Probate Remote hearings.

  1. For non-confidential Probate actions, parties may request to appear remotely utilizing the Zoom platform. To request a emote appearance, a party must do the following:  
    • File a Notice of Remote Appearance form (RA-010), at least five court days prior to the hearing. Forms received after five court days will be considered untimely and remote appearance will not be permitted. Notice of Remote Appearance (RA-010) is to be given to the court and all persons entitled to receive notice of the proceeding as set forth in the Declaration of Notice section of the form.   
    • Include an e-mail address on the Notice of Remote Appearance (RA-010) form. An e-mail address is required in order to receive confirmation of approval and Zoom link information by the Probate Clerk’s office.  If an e-mail address is not provided, the form will not be accepted for filing. Zoom information for the scheduled hearing will be provided by email to those approved for a remote appearance.  Only individuals with an approved request will be permitted to appear remotely. Any other individuals interested in viewing Probate proceedings may observe only in person at the court.    
    • When e-filing the Notice of Remote Appearance (RA 010), it must be e-filed as a separate document.  Additional documents shall not be included in the same electronic envelope.  Unless a specific code for the Notice of Remote Appearance exists, the document shall be filed as a general notice with “Remote Appearance” indicated as the description. Failure to submit the form according to this process may inhibit timely processing and consideration by the Court.
    • When submitting the Notice of Remote Appearance (RA-010) by mail or over the counter, it must be submitted for filing as a separate document or placed at the top of the forms packet. Failure to submit the form according to this process may inhibit timely processing and consideration by the Court.
    • Requests for remote appearance in evidentiary hearings, such as a trial, will be directed to the assigned judicial officer for that proceeding.
  2. Confidential mental health proceedings held in the Probate department will continue to be heard by Zoom for video conferencing. Prior approval for remote appearance will not be required for participants in those proceedings.

Notice of Remote Appearance (RA010)

Important Information Regarding Zoom Hearings

Additional Info for Probate Remote Appearances

How Do I use Zoom

Court Reporters

Probate matters are not assigned a court reporter, which means there will be no official transcript. Parties may provide their own court reporter according to court rules.

Court Interpreter Services

Court Interpreter Service Information

Probate Court-Appointed Panel

Attorneys interested in becoming a part of the court-appointed panel, please contact Charmae Caracas at (559) 457-1888

Probate Referee Contact Information

Steven D. Diebert

California Probate Referee

2037 W. Bullard, #349

Fresno, CA. 93711-1200

Phone: 559. 431-7486


Rick P. Smith

California Probate Referee

7638 N. Ingram Avenue, Suite 201

Fresno, CA. 93711

Phone: 559.435-6005


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