Table of Forms
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Pleadings-Introduction | Form-Alder Abuse Complaint | Pleadings-Main Room
| Pleadings-Condensed Table of Contents | California CIVIL CODE § 3294-3296 |
| California CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE § 420-422.40 |
WELFARE AND INSTITUTIONS CODE § 15657-15657.3
California Civil Procedure
Introduction-General And Code Provisions
A. The Code Pleading System.
1. [§1] Origin, Nature and Extent.-How Abbreviated
California Code of Civil
Procedure §§ 420 -
422.40 and California Rules of Court 200-201,
prescribe the basic mandatory pleading requirements for all papers filed with the court.
The requirements set forth are mandatory and they must be observed meticulously-to avoid loss
of a basic right or sanctions.
2. [§2] Origin, Nature and Extent.-How Abbreviated And Cited
The California Code of Civil Procedure is generally abbreviated "CCP". The Code is cited by the
abbreviation followed by the section number; e.g., "CCP § 473."
The provisions are set forth below.
3. [§3] Main Purposes of Pleadings .
The main purposes of
pleadings have been summarized as follows:
(1) To serve as a formal basis for the judgment;
(2) to separate issues of fact from questions of law;
(3) to make available the defense of res judicata in a later action;
(4) to give notice of the claims, defenses and cross-demands of the parties.
(See Clark, p. 3; James and Hazard 2d, Sec. 2.1; 61A Am.Jur2d, Pleading Sec 1 et seq.;
Committee on Children's Televison v. General Foods Corp. (1983) 35 C.3d 197, 211, 197 C.R. 783,
673 P.2d 660. 5 Witkin, California Procedure, Pleading, p. _____, § ____ )
B. Code Provisions
The basic provisions related to pleadings are generally in:
Title 4-Pleadings In Civil Actions
Chapter 1-In General-Sections 420 to 422.40
C. Pleadings Defined.
1. [§5] "CCP § 420 defines the term and specifies what is a "Pleading."
Section 420. Defined
420. The pleadings are the formal allegations by the
parties of their respective claims and defenses, for
the judgment of the Court.
Forms and Rules of Pleading
1. [§6] ___________________
Section 421. Forms and Rules of Pleading
421. The forms of pleading in civil actions, and the rules by which
the sufficiency of the pleadings is to be determined, are those
prescribed in this Code.
Time to Plead And Extensions
1. [§7] Plaintiff-Action Must Be Filed Within Statutory Time Limitation
Plaintiff Initial Filing-Must Comply With the applicable Statute of Limitations
or the action will be time barred. The statute of limitations is regarded as jurisdictional
and it may not be extended, except in special situations such a failure to "discover"
after reasonable diligence. The exceptions are rare and it is very hard to come within the
the exception to the rule and the action should be filed within the statutory time limitation.
(a). [§8] Illustration-claim barred: ROGER E. SMITH et al., v. SHN CONSULTING ENGINEERS &
GEOLOGISTS, INC., et al., CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FIRST APPELLATE DISTRICT DIVISION THREE, A088522 (Humboldt County Super. Ct. No. 98DR0316, Filed 5/23/01)
(b) Special Time Limits - Governmental Claim:
(b) Minors Claims Claim
See Chapter ________ Actions
See CCP §§ __________________ for basic Statute of Limitations Provisions
The Defendant Must
File His Pleading within The Time Prescribed
by Statute or Court
(a) Statutory Prescribed Time Limitations-Statutory Periods
(a) Court Prescribed Time Limitations-Time Fixed By Court-Local Court Rules-
C. Pleadings Allowed in Civil Actions
Section 422.10. Permissible Pleadings Enumerated
CCP § 422.10. The pleadings allowed in civil actions are complaints,
demurrers, answers, and cross-complaints.
Permissible pleadings as provided by the CCP
§ 422.10 are:
3. answers, and
Section 422.30. Caption
422.30. (a) Every pleading shall contain a caption setting forth:
(1) The name of the court and county, and, in municipal courts,
the name of the judicial district, in which the action is brought.
(2) The title of the action.
(b) In a limited civil case in a county in which there is no
municipal court, the caption shall state that the case is a limited
civil case, and the clerk shall classify the case accordingly.
Section 422.20. Complaint--Title Includes Names of All Parties
422.40. In the complaint, the title of the action shall include the
names of all the parties; but, except as otherwise provided by
statute or rule of the Judicial Council, in other pleadings it is
sufficient to state the name of the first party on each side with an
appropriate indication of other parties.
Court Rules Mandating Form of Pleadings
Rule 200. Applicability
(a) [Applicability to all trial court cases]
The rules in this division apply to all cases in the superior and municipal courts unless
otherwise specified by these rules or by statute.
(b) [Applicability to limited and unlimited civil cases] The rules in this division apply to all limited
and unlimited civil cases unless otherwise specified by these rules or by statute. The definitions of
limited civil cases and unlimited civil cases in Code of Civil Procedure sections 85-89 apply to these rules.
Rule 200 adopted effective January 1, 2001.
2001-Rules 200, 201, 109, 222.1, 298, 299, 501-598, and 709 (Repeal of municipal court rules
in light of trial court unification). To eliminate the duplicative rules in the "200" series for superior courts,
in the "500" series for municipal courts, and for limited civil cases and misdemeanor cases in unified
courts, all of the 500 series is repealed and the 200 series is applicable to all trial courts in all types
of cases. The 200 series rules now occasionally make a distinction between limited cases and unlimited
cases, but for the most part the same rules apply to both types of cases. (Emphasis added by Editor)
Rule 201. Form of papers presented for filing
(a) [Definitions] As used in this rule,
(1) The word "papers" includes all documents, except exhibits or copies of documents, which are
offered for filing in any case in the superior courts; but it does not include printed forms furnished
by the clerks of the courts other than as provided in subdivision (j), records on appeal from municipal
courts in civil cases, or briefs filed in the appellate departments.
(2) The word "recycled" as applied to paper means "recycled paper product" as defined by
section 42202 of the Public Resources Code.
(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 1994; previously amended effective July 1, 1993.)
(b) [Use of recycled paper; certification by attorney or party] The use of recycled paper is required for the following:
(1) All original papers filed with the court and all copies of papers, documents, and exhibits, whether filed with the court or served on other parties;
(2) All original forms, whether state or local, filed with the court, and all copies of such forms, whether filed with the court or served on other parties;
(3) The original record on appeal from a limited civil case, any brief filed with the court in a matter to be heard in the appellate division, and all copies of such documents, whether filed with the court or served on other parties.
Whenever the use of recycled paper is required by these rules, the attorney, party, or other person filing or serving a document certifies, by the act of filing or service, that the document was produced on paper purchased as recycled.
(Subd (b) adopted effective July 1, 1999.)
(c) [Size of paper, pagination, etc. and type style] All papers shall be typewritten or printed, or be prepared by a photocopying or other duplication process that will produce clear and permanent copies equally legible to printing, in type not smaller than 12 points, on opaque, unglazed paper, white or unbleached, of standard quality not less than 20-pound weight, 8-1/2 by 11 inches in size. The typeface shall be essentially equivalent to Courier, Times, or Helvetica. The color of print shall be blue-black or black.
(Subd (c) amended and relettered effective July 1, 1999; previously amended effective April 1, 1962, May 1, 1962, July 1, 1964, July 1, 1969, July 1, 1971, January 1, 1976, January 1, 1993, July 1, 1993, and January 1, 1994.)
(d) [Line spacing and numbering] Only one side of the paper shall be used, and the lines on each page shall be one and one-half spaced or double spaced and numbered consecutively; but descriptions of real property may be single spaced and footnotes, quotations, and printed forms of corporate surety bonds and undertakings may be single spaced and have unnumbered lines if they comply generally with the space requirements of subdivision (f). The left margin shall be at least one inch from the left edge of the paper and the right margin at least one-half inch from the right edge of the paper. Line numbers shall be placed at the left margin and separated from the text of the paper by a vertical column of space at least one-fifth inch wide or a single or double vertical line. The line number either shall be placed on the same line as a line of type or shall be evenly spaced vertically on the page. Line numbers shall be consecutively numbered beginning with the number 1 on each page. There shall be a least three line numbers for every vertical inch on the page.
(Subd (d) amended and relettered effective July 1, 1999; previously amended and relettered effective July 1, 1993, and previously amended effective January 1, 1999.)
(e) [Page numbering and hole punching] Each page shall be numbered consecutively at the bottom. Each paper shall consist entirely of original pages without riders, and shall be firmly bound together at the top. Exhibits may be fastened to pages of the specified size and, when prepared by a machine copying process, shall be equal to typewritten material in legibility and permanency of image. Each paper presented for filing shall contain two pre-punched normal size holes, centered 2 1/2 inches apart, and 5/8 inch from the top of the paper.
(Subd (e) relettered and amended effective July 1, 1999; previously amended and relettered effective July 1, 1993, and previously amended effective January 1, 1994.)
(f) [Format of first page] The first page of each paper shall be in the following form:
(1) In the space commencing one inch from the top of the page with line 1, to the left of the center of the page, the name, office address, or, if none, residence address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address (if provided), and State Bar membership number of the attorney for the party in whose behalf the paper is presented, or of the party if he or she is appearing in person; but the name, office address, telephone number, and State Bar membership number of the attorney printed on the page shall be sufficient. Inclusion of a fax number or e-mail address on any document is optional, and its inclusion shall not be considered consent to service by fax or e-mail unless otherwise provided by law.
(2) The first two inches of space between lines 1 and 7 to the right of the center of the page shall be left blank for the use of the clerk.
(3) On or below three and one-third inches from the top of the paper line 8, the title of the court.
(4) Below the title of the court, in the space to the left of the center of the page, the title of the case.
(5) To the right of and opposite the title, the number of the case.
(6) Immediately below the number of the case, the nature of the paper, and on all complaints and petitions, the character of the action or proceeding. In a case having multiple parties any answer, response or opposition shall specifically identify the complaining, propounding or moving party and the complaint, motion, or other matter being answered or opposed.
(7) Below the number of the case, the word "Referee:" followed by the name of the referee, on any paper filed in a case pending before a referee appointed pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 638 or 639.
(8) On the complaint, petition, or application filed in a limited civil case, immediately below the character of the action or proceeding, the amount demanded in the complaint, petition, or application, stated as follows: "Amount demanded exceeds $10,000" or "Amount demanded does not exceed $10,000," as required by Government Code section 72055.
(9) In the caption of every pleading filed in a unified court in a limited civil case, the words: "Limited Civil Case," as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 422.30(b).
(Subd (f) amended effective January 1, 2001; previously amended effective January 1, 1978, and July 1, 2000; amended and relettered effective July 1, 1993 and July 1, 1999; adopted effective January 1, 1949, as subd (c).)
(g) [Footer] Except for exhibits, each paper filed with the court shall bear a footer in the bottom margin of each page, placed below the page number and divided from the rest of the document page by a printed line. The footer shall contain the title of the paper (examples: "Complaint," "XYZ Corp.'s Motion for Summary Judgment") or some clear and concise abbreviation. The title of the paper shall be in at least 10-point type.
(Subd (g) amended effective July 1, 2000; previously relettered effective July 1, 1999; adopted effective January 1, 1999, as subd (f).)
(h) [Changes on face of paper-conformance of copies] Additions, deletions, or interlineations shall be initialed by the clerk or judge at the time of filing. All copies served shall conform to the original filed, including the numbering of lines, pagination, additions, deletions, and interlineations.
(Subd (h) amended and relettered effective July 1, 1999; previously relettered as subd (g) effective January 1, 1999, and as subd (f) effective July 1, 1993; adopted effective January 1, 1949, as subd (d).)
(i) [Several causes of action, defenses, etc.] Each separately stated cause of action, count, or defense shall be separately numbered.
(Subd (i) amended and relettered effective July 1, 1999; previously relettered effective January 1, 1999 as subd (h), previously amended effective January 1, 1973; previously relettered as subd (g) effective July 1, 1993; adopted effective January 1, 1949, as subd (e).)
(j) [Acceptance for filing] The clerk of the court shall not accept for filing or file any papers which do not comply with this rule, but for good cause shown the court may permit the filing of papers which do not comply.
(Subd (j) relettered effective January 1, 1999; previously relettered as subd (h) effective January 1, 1966, July 1, 1974, and January 1, 1978; amended and relettered as subd (g) effective January 1, 1984; relettered as subd (i) effective July 1, 1993.)
(k) [Local forms]
(1) Each form adopted by a court shall be on a paper no more than 8-1/2 by 11 inches and no less than 8-1/2 by 5 inches.
(2) The court shall make copies of its forms available in the clerk's office. A court may, as an alternative, make its forms available in a booklet from which photocopies of the forms may be made. The court may charge for either copies of forms or the booklet of forms.
(3) The court shall assign a unique designator consisting of numbers or letters or both to each form. The designator shall be placed on the form in the same manner as the Judicial Council designator appears on a Judicial Council form.
(4) The effective date of each form shall be placed on the form in the same manner as the effective date on a Judicial Council form.
(5) Each court shall make available a current list of forms adopted by the court that includes for each form its name, number, and effective date. There shall be two versions of the list, one organized by form number and one organized by form name. The court shall modify its lists whenever it modifies, adopts or repeals any form.
(6) Each form shall be designed so that no typing is required on it within one inch of the top and one-half inch of the bottom of each form.
(7) All forms and copies of forms shall be reproduced on recycled paper.
(Subd (k) amended effective July 1, 1999; previously relettered effective January 1, 1999; previously amended effective January 1, 1994; adopted effective July 1, 1993 as subd (j).)
(l) [Multiple-page forms] If a legal form is longer than one page, the form may be filed on sheets printed on only one side even if the original form has two printed sides to a sheet. If a form is filed on a sheet printed on two sides, the reverse shall be rotated 180 degrees (printed head to foot).
(Subd (l) adopted effective July 1, 1999; repealed as [Use of recycled paper for forms] effective July 1, 1999; previously relettered effective January 1, 1999; adopted as subd (k) effective January 1, 1994.)
(m) This rule does not apply to forms for juvenile dependency proceedings produced by the California State Department of Social Services Child Welfare Systems Case Management System.
(Subd (m) relettered effective July 1, 1999; repealed as [Use of recycled paper for records on appeal from municipal courts in civil cases and for briefs filed in the appellate departments] effective July 1, 1999; previously relettered as subd (n) effective January 1, 1999; adopted as subd (m) effective January 1, 1998.)
(n) [Application for writ seeking release or modification of custody]
(1) A petition for a writ of habeas corpus or for any other writ seeking the release from or modification of the conditions of custody of one who is confined under the process of any court of this state in a state or local penal institution, hospital, narcotics treatment facility, or other institution shall be on the form approved by the Judicial Council, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Form MC-275).
(2) For good cause, a court may also accept for filing a petition that does not comply with this rule. A petition submitted by an attorney need not be on the Judicial Council form.
(3) A petition that is not on the Judicial Council form shall contain the pertinent information specified in that form, including the information required regarding other petitions, motions, or applications with respect to the conviction, commitment, or issue in any court.
(Subd (n) relettered effective July 1, 1999; previously relettered and amended as subd (i) effective January 1, 1999; previously amended effective April 1, 1990, July 1, 1990, January 1, 1992, and July 1, 1992; previously relettered as subd (h) effective July 1, 1993; adopted effective January 1, 1966, as subd (f).)
Rule 201 amended effective January 1, 2001; previously amended effective April 1, 1962, May 1, 1962, July 1, 1964, January 1, 1966, July 1, 1969, July 1, 1971, January 1, 1973, January 1, 1976, January 1, 1978, January 1, 1984, April 1, 1990, July 1, 1990, January 1, 1992, July 1, 1992, January 1, 1993, July 1, 1993, January 1, 1994, January 1, 1998, January 1, 1999, July 1, 1999, and July 1, 2000; adopted effective January 1, 1949.
Advisory Committee Comment
1998-The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has begun to distribute a new, comprehensive, computerized case management system to county welfare agencies. This system is not able to exactly conform to Judicial Council format in all instances. However, item numbering on the forms will remain the same. The changes allow CDSS computer-generated Judicial Council forms to be used in juvenile court proceedings.
1992-Rule 201(f) was amended to specify that an attorney need not use the Judicial Council form for a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in superior court.
January 1993-The council adopted amendments to rules 9, 15, 44, 201, and 501 of the California Rules of Court, effective January 1, 1993, to (1) expressly permit and encourage litigation documents, reporter's transcripts, and records on appeal to be on recycled paper and (2) allow the use of unbleached paper.
July 1993-The council adopted amendments to rules 201 and 501, effective July 1, 1993, to (1) require two-hole punching at the top of each document; (2) provide a standard form of line numbering, type size, type style, and type color; (3) provide style and availability rules for local forms; and (4) require an attorney's State Bar number on pleadings.
1994-New and amended California Rules of Court (new rules 989.1, 1071.5; amended rules 9, 40, 44, 201, 501) require the use of recycled paper for original papers filed in California courts after January 1, 1995, and for copies after January 1, 1996. The rules provide that an attorney, by the act of filing the document, certifies that recycled paper was used.
1998-This rule was amended to not apply to forms for juvenile dependency proceedings produced by the California State Department of Social Services Child Welfare Systems Case Management System.
1999-Amended rules 201 and 501 require that each paper filed in superior and municipal courts include a footer stating the title of the paper in the bottom margin of each page. Additionally, amended rule 501 requires litigants to state, on the first page of the complaint or petition, whether the amount demanded exceeds or does not exceed $10,000 and whether the case is a "limited civil case" (i.e., amount in controversy is less than $25,000).
Amended rule 201(h) requires a habeas corpus petition that is not on the Judicial Council form (Form MC-275) to list all pertinent information, including information regarding the filing of other petitions.
2000-Rules 201, 313, 324, 325, 376, 379, 388, 391, 501, and 981.1 (Uniform Statewide Rules). Rule 981.1, which preempts all local rules in the civil pretrial area, goes into effect on July 1, 2000. The rule was amended to clarify the scope of preemption, and to create a temporary exception for local rules relating to class actions, eminent domain proceedings, and receivership proceedings. This exception will last until January 1, 2002, when the Judicial Council is expected to develop statewide rules in these areas.
A number of statewide rules were adopted in response to courts' requests that their local rules be adopted statewide, before the preemption of local rules goes into effect:
· Amended rules 201 and 501 provide that, at the option of the person filing papers, a fax number and an e-mail address may be included on the first page of the papers.
· Amended rule 313 clarifies the proper manner of paginating a memorandum.
· Amended rule 324, on tentative rulings, clarifies the rule and allows courts to make tentative rulings available not only by telephone, but also by other methods.
· Amended rule 325 requires that demurrers be set for hearing on a date no later than 35 days following the filing of the demurrer.
· Amended rule 376 requires the use of a new Judicial Council form for all motions to be relieved as counsel.
· Amended rule 379 requires that the party making an ex parte application include in a declaration that the opposing party has been notified of the relief sought.
· New rule 388 lists the documents that must be filed in order to obtain a default judgment on declarations.
· Amended rule 391 clarifies the purpose and procedures for the preparation of orders after a hearing.
2001-See note following rule 200.
TITLE TWO. Pretrial and Trial Rules
TITLE 6. OF THE PLEADINGS IN CIVIL ACTIONS
CHAPTER 1. THE PLEADINGS IN GENERAL .......................... 420-422.40
CHAPTER 2. PLEADINGS DEMANDING RELIEF
Article 1. General Provisions ............................ 425.10-425.16
Article 2. Compulsory Cross-Complaints ................... 426.10-426.70
Article 3. Permissive Joinder of Causes of Action ............... 427.10
Article 4. Cross-Complaints .............................. 428.10-428.80
Article 5. Contents of Documents in Particular Actions or
Proceedings .......................................... 429.30
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