SERVICE OF PROCESS

■Serve Defendant after Complaint Filed – 60 days after filing.  [Source: CALIFORNIA RULES OF COURT 3.110]

■Serve Defendant Added via Amended Complaint – 30 days after adding.  [Source: CALIFORNIA RULES OF COURT 3.110(b)]

■Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint (proving to Court that you served Defendant) – 60 days after serving complaint.  [Source: CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE § 583.210]

■Defendant Time Limit to File Answer or Demurrer – 30 days from date complaint was served.  [Source:  CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 412.20]

 

DISCOVERY

■Plaintiff may serve discovery questions – 10 days after service of complaint.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE § 2030.020]

■Subpoena for Personal (medical) records – Must be served on consumer at least 15 (in actuality 20) days before date of production.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE § 1985.3(d) incorporating CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE § 2020.220(a)].  The subpoena may not be served on records custodian until at least five days after service on consumer. [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE § 1985.3(b)(3)]

■Subpoena for Employment Records – Must be served on the employee 10 days before date for production (in actuality 20 days before, see below), 5 days before service on the custodian of records.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE § 1985.6(b)(2) & (3).] Must be served on records custodian 15 days before date of production.

■Motion to Quash Subpoena Duces Tecum – must be served on defense counsel at least five days before date for production of documents [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 1985.3(g), 1985.6(f)(2)] Note: Court may still grant a motion to quash after this time.  [Slage v. Sup. Ct. (1989) 211 Cal. App.3d 1309, 1313]

■Move to Compel Additional Answers – 45 days.   [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE § 2030.300]

■Respond to Written Discovery – 30 days (+5 days if questions were mailed).

■Discovery Closes Before Arbitration – 15 days before arbitration.  [CALIFORNIA RULES OF COURT 3.822]

■Discovery closes before trial: 30 days before trial – or 15 days before arbitration.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2024.020]

■Last Day to Hear Discovery Motions – 15 days before trial.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2024.020]

■Practical Last Day to Serve Discovery (and be able to make a motion on it) – 90-100 days before trial.

■Deposition Notice – Defendant may serve any time.  Plaintiff must wait 20 days after service of summon and complaint to serve. [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2025.210]

■Depositions – Must be sat at least 10 days in the future (+5 days if the notice is mailed – CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 1013) , at least 20 (+5 days if the notice is mailed – CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 1013)  if the deposition notice includes request for documents. [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2025.270]

 

EXPERT DISCOVERY

■Experts Must Be Demanded – 70 days before trial (or within 10 days of setting trial date, whichever is closer to trial date)  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2034.220]

■Experts Must Be Disclosed – 50 days before trial (or 20 days after service of demand, whichever is closer to trial date)  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2034.230]

■Supplemental Expert Disclosure – Must be disclosed within 20 days of the Exchange of Expert Witnesses.  May only disclose witness to cover a subject covered by opponent’s witnesses.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2034.280]

■Expert Depositions – May be set “On receipt of an expert witness list from a party.”  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2034.410]

■Expert Discovery Cut Off – 15 days before original trial date.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2024.030].

■Last Day for Motions Regarding Experts – 10 days before original trial date.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2024.030].

 

ARBITRATION

■Reject Arbitration Award – Within 30 days of service of arbitration award.  [CALIFORNIA RULES OF COURT 3.826]

■Discovery Closes Before Arbitration – 15 days before arbitration.   [CALIFORNIA RULES OF COURT 3.822].

 

TRIAL

■Discovery Closes (with the exclusion of expert lists, and expert depositions) – 30 days before trial, or after non-binding arbitration.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2034.210;  CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE § 1141.24].

■Experts Must Be Demanded – 70 days before trial (or within 10 days of setting trial date, whichever is closer to trial date).   [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2034.220].

■Experts Must Be Disclosed – 50 days before trial (or 20 days after service of demand, whichever is closer to trial date).   [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2034.230].

■998 Offers to Compromise – Can be made up until 10 days prior to trial.   [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 998].

■Notice to Appear at Trial (to party) [No documents] – 10 days before trial, send notice with time and place to attorney. [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE § 1987(b)].

■Notice to Appear at Trial (to party) [With documents] – 20 days before trial, send notice with time and place to attorney. [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE § 1987(c)].

■Objection to Notice to Appear At Trial With Documents – 5 days “or any other time period as the court may allow”  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE § 1987(c)].

 

MOTIONS

■Noticed motions – must be served and filed 16 court days before the hearing date (+ 5 more if served by mail) (+ 2 more if served by fax, express mail, or overnight delivery). [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE  1005] Note: CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 1013 does not apply.

■Opposition to noticed motion – must be filed and served 9 court days before hearing.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE  1005].

■Reply to noticed motion – 5 court days before hearing.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE  1005].

■Ex Parte Motion – Opposing party must be notified by 10:00 A.M. the day before the hearing, absent “exceptional circumstances.”  [CALIFORNIA RULES OF COURT 3.1203].  Note:  This is a minimum.  Check local rules for more strict notice periods.

Manner of service: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, all papers opposing a motion and all reply papers shall be served by personal delivery, facsimile transmission, express mail, or other means consistent with Sections 1010, 1011, 1012, and 1013, and reasonably calculated to ensure delivery to the other party or parties not later than the close of the next business day after the time the opposing papers or reply papers, as applicable, are filed.” [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 1005(c)].

CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 1013: “…The service is complete at the time of the deposit, but any period of notice and any right or duty to do any act or make any response within any period or on a date certain after the service of the document, which time period or date is prescribed by statute or rule of court, shall be extended five calendar days, upon service by mail, if the place of address and the place of mailing is within the State of California, 10 calendar days if either the place of mailing or the place of address is outside the State of California but within the United States, and 20 calendar days if either the place of mailing or the place of address is outside the United States.”

 

■Motions for Summary Judgment – Notice is 75 days before hearing (+10 if outside CA, +20 if outside US) [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 437c(a)].  Opposition is 14 days before the hearing [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 437c(b)(2)].  Reply is 5 days before hearing.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 437c(b)(3)].

 

STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS

■Personal Injury – 2 years.   [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 335.1].

■Medical Malpractice – 3 years from the date of injury, or 1 year after the plaintiff discovers the injury, whichever occurs first.   [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 340.5]  Note: You must give 90 day notice of intent to sue. [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 364].  Note:  Statute may be tolled by (1) upon proof of fraud, (2) intentional concealment, or (3) the presence of a foreign body, which has no therapeutic or diagnostic purpose or effect, in the person of the injured person.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 340.5]

■Lawsuits against public entities (like cities or counties) – Must file a claim within 6 months.  Then you have 6 months from date of the rejection letter to file a lawsuit.

■Time Limit to Bring Case to Trial – Five years from the date the lawsuit was filed.  [CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 583.310]