SAN FRANCISCO — The California First District Court of Appeal recently upheld the Sonoma County Superior Court's decision to deny the defendant a continuance in the divorce case Brenda E. Villafranco vs. Stanley Charles.

In its April 21 decision, the appeals court decided that Charles did not make a strong enough case to be given a continuance. The appeals court explained that the case is related to a dissolved marriage between Villafranco and Charles and domestic violence. The appeals court said Villafranco put in a request for a court to end the marriage on May 26, 2015, after the two had gotten married on Sept. 20, 2013.

According to the appeals court decision, Villafranco then "filed a request for [a] domestic violence restraining order."

"On Oct. 8, Judge DeMeo set the matter for evidentiary hearing on Dec. 15, with the relevant financial information to be exchanged and filed by December 5," the appeals court said in its decision. "Villafranco filed her material. Charles did not. Meanwhile, on December 2, 13 days before the hearing, Charles’s attorney withdrew. Charles did nothing at that point to alert the court or move to continue the hearing."

According to the appeals court decision, "throughout the hearing, Judge DeMeo ensured that Charles was provided with clear instructions as to what was occurring, for example, providing Charles with an explanation of the differences between an opening statement and a closing argument, guiding him with testimony during the evidentiary portion of the hearing and answering his question prior to admitting an exhibit into evidence. Charles was provided a fair trial by an impartial judicial officer."

The appeals court ruled that "Charles’ briefs fail to show how he was supposedly harmed by the order that Judge DeMeo entered following the Dec. 15 hearing."

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