Update Notices

 Disclaimer: This information is provided “as is,” and numerous authorities allow for easy validation of these updates. None of the information is a substitute for the advice of an attorney, and no warranty is made for the accuracy or completeness of any of the information furnished. Paragraph and page numbers refer to your book(s). Please visit the Web sites provided below for additional changes and information, as well as the Announcements and News alerts on this Web site.

California State Updates

(http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov; http://www.courts.ca.gov)

2018 State Updates – Code of Civil Procedure (CCP)

Service of Summons and Complaint at a Private Mailbox [CCP § 415.20(c)]

Effective January 1, 2018, if the only known address for the person to be served is a private mailbox at a commercial mail receiving agency, service of process may be effected on the first delivery attempt by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint in the manner described by Business and Professions Code § 17538.5(d).

Meet and Confer before Filing a Motion to Strike or Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [CCP §§ 435.5, 439; effective January 1, 2018]

Meet and confer requirements have been added to these motions at least 5 days before the date the motion must be filed. These sections will be repealed on January 1, 2021, unless a later-enacted statute extends or deletes that date.

Electronic Service of Documents; Local Rules for Electronic Filing [CCP § 1010.6; effective January 1, 2018]

For cases filed on or before December 31, 2018, a document that may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or fax transmission, is not authorized to be served electronically unless a party or other person has agreed to accept electronic service in that specific action or the court has ordered electronic service on a represented party or other represented person under (c) [by court order] or (d) required by local rule. [CCP §§ 1010.6(a)(2)(A)(i)]

Any document served electronically between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59:59 p.m. on a court day is deemed served on that day. Any document electronically served on a noncourt day is deemed served on the next court day. [CCP § 1010.6(a)(4)(A), (a)(5)]  A trial court may adopt local rules permitting electronic filing of documents subject to conditions under CCP § 1010.6(b) [and subject to uniform rules to be adopted by the Judicial Council]. Any document received electronically by the court between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59:59 p.m. on a court day is deemed filed on that day. A document received electronically on a noncourt day is deemed filed on the next court day. [CCP § 1010.6(b)(3)]

Service of Discovery or Motion Papers [CCP § 2016.050; effective January 1, 2018]

CCP § 1011 (personal service) and 1013 (mail, Express Mail or other overnight delivery, fax transmission, or electronic service) apply to any method of discovery or service of a motion in the Civil Discovery Act.

Informal Discovery Conference [CCP § 2016.080; effective January 1, 2018]

Upon request by a party or on the court’s own motion, the court may conduct an informal discovery conference if an informal resolution is not reached by the parties under Section 2016.040 (meet and confer). A party requesting the conference must file a meet and confer declaration, and any party may file a response. The request shall be deemed denied if the court does not grant, deny, or schedule the party’s request within 10 days after the initial request. If a court grants or orders the conference, it may schedule it no later than 30 days after granting the request or issuing its order and before the discovery cutoff date. If the conference is granted or ordered, the court may toll the deadline for filing a discovery motion or make another appropriate discovery order.

If the conference is not held within 30 days after the date the court granted the request, it shall be deemed denied, and any tolling period previously ordered shall continue to apply to that action. The outcome of the conference does not bar a party from filing a discovery motion or prejudice the disposition of such a motion. This provision does not prevent the parties from stipulating to the timing of discovery proceedings as set forth in Section 2024.060.

This section is repealed as of January 1, 2023.

Expert Witness Exchange [CCP § 2034.260; effective January 1, 2018]

The exchange of expert witness information may occur at a meeting of the attorneys for the parties or by serving the information by any method specified in CCP § 1011 (personal service) or § 1013 (mail, Express Mail or other overnight delivery, fax transmission, or electronic service) on or before the date of exchange.

2017 State Updates

Service of Deposition Notice or Subpoena to Produce Electronically Stored Information [CCP § 2025.280(c)]

Subdivision (c) was added, effective January 1, 2017: “A deponent required by notice or subpoena to produce electronically stored information shall provide a means of gaining direct access to or a translation into a reasonably usable form of, any electronically stored information that is password protected or otherwise inaccessible.”

Production of Materials by an Expert [CCP § 2034.415]

This section was added, effective January 1, 2017: “An expert described in subdivision (b) of Section 2034.210 whose deposition is noticed pursuant to Section 2025.220 shall, no later than three business days before his or her deposition, produce any materials or category of materials, including any electronically stored information, called for by the deposition notice.”

2016 State Updates

Electronic Signature [CCP §§ 17(b)(3), 34]

Effective January 1, 2016, an electronic signature is defined to mean an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with an electronic record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the electronic record. An electronic signature by a court or judicial officer shall be as effective as an original signature.

Objections to Evidence [CCP § 437c(q)]

Effective January 1, 2016, the court need rule only on objections to evidence it deems material to disposition of the motion in granting or denying a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication. Objections to evidence not ruled on for purposes of the motion shall be preserved for appellate review.

Motion for Summary Adjudication [CCP § 437c(t)-(u)]

This amendment was first effective on January 1, 2012, with a sunset date of January 1, 2015. The statute was inadvertently allowed to sunset but has been permanently reenacted effective January 1, 2016. Despite CCP § 437c(f), a party may move for summary adjudication of a legal issue or a claim for damages other than punitive damages that does not completely dispose of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, or an issue of duty. Before filing, the parties whose claims or defenses are put at issue by the motion must submit a joint stipulation and declarations to the court that the motion will further the interest of judicial economy by reducing time in trial or significantly increase the likelihood of settlement. Within 15 days after the court receives the stipulation and declarations, unless extended for good cause, the court will notify the submitting parties whether the motion may be filed. The court may consider a nonstipulating party’s objections if made within 10 days of submission of the stipulation. If the court does not allow the filing of the motion, the parties may request an informal conference conducted by the court for further evaluation of the proposed stipulation. Required language (or a substantial equivalent) in the notice of motion is: “This motion is made pursuant to subdivision (t) of Section 437c of the Code of Civil Procedure. The parties to this motion stipulate that the court shall hear this motion and that the resolution of this motion will either further the interest of judicial economy by decreasing trial time or significantly increasing the likelihood of settlement.” [See CCP § 437c(t)(4)]

Offer to Compromise [CCP § 998(c)(1), (d)]

In the discretion of the court or arbitrator, this amendment clarifies that either plaintiff or defendant may be entitled to post-offer expert witness costs if their settlement offer is rejected and a more favorable judgment or award is not obtained.

Objections to Pleadings [CCP §§ 430.41, 472, 472a]

These amendments concern demurrers. Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41 was added, effective January 1, 2016, to require the parties to meet and confer in person or by telephone at least five days before the date a responsive pleading is due to determine whether they can reach an agreement to resolve the objections raised in the demurrer. Please read these sections in their entirety, as there are a number of requirements affecting the filing, amending, and resolution of demurrers.

Contents of Notice for Oral Deposition Inside California [CCP § 2025.220(a)(8)]

Effective January 1, 2016, deposition notices are required to include a statement disclosing the existence of a contract, if any is known, between the noticing party or a third party financing all or part of the action and the deposition officer or the entity providing services of the deposition officer. Disclosure is also required if the attorney was directed to use a particular officer or entity to provide services for the deposition by the party noticing the deposition or a third party financing all or part of the action.

Expedited Jury Trial (EJT) [CCP §§ 630.01-630.30]

A voluntary EJT may be conducted when the parties sign a consent order stipulating to these procedures. Formerly set to expire on January 1, 2016, the voluntary EJT provisions were extended indefinitely. Modifications were made, effective January 1, 2016, to provide that each party has up to five hours to complete voir dire and present its case. The Judicial Council is required to update pertinent rules and forms by July 1, 2016. [CCP §§ 630.01-630.30]

Provisions for a mandatory EJT were added for limited civil cases (with some exceptions). The Judicial Council is required to adopt rules and forms to implement the mandatory EJT provisions on or before July 1, 2016, at which time they will become operative. The sunset date is July 1, 2019. [CCP §§ 630.20-630.30]

California Rules of Court (CRC)

To view the full text of all recent amendments, please visit http://www.courts.ca.gov > Forms & Rules > Rules of Court > New & Amended Rules.

Effective January 1, 2017, Protection of Privacy [formerly CRC 1.20(b)], was renumbered and adopted as CRC 1.201. Among the amendments are the following:

Rule 3.823(d), Rules of Evidence at Judicial Arbitration Hearing, was amended two times recently. The first amendment added service by electronic means under CCP § 1010.6 and CRC 2.251 to service by mail as provided in CCP § 1013(a). The most recent amendment, effective January 1, 2017, eliminated specific references to mail and instead refers to service “in the manner provided by Code of Civil Procedure section 1013.” Personal service is also allowed under this rule.

Requirements for format of electronically filed documents in CRC 2.256(b) must be followed for papers submitted or filed electronically, including exhibits. [CRC 2.100(c), 2.114]

Rule 2.118(a)(3) was added to provide that the clerk must not reject a paper for filing solely on the ground that the font size is not exactly that required by rules 2.104 and 2.110(c) on PDF papers submitted electronically.

Rule 2.251(i)(1) was amended to add that a proof of electronic service does not need to state that the party making the service is not a party to the case, nor does the time of the electronic service need to be stated. Subdivision (3) adds that under rule 3.1300(c), proof of electronic service of moving papers must be filed at least five court days before the hearing.

Rule 2.256(b)(3), regarding the format of documents to be filed electronically, was amended to provide that the “document must be text searchable when technologically feasible without impairment of the document’s image.”

Rule 2.306(h)(1) deleted the requirement of including the time on a proof of service by fax.

2016 California Rules of Court

Expedited Jury Trial (EJT)

Effective July 1, 2016, amended rule 3.1545 pertains to the application and definitions of EJTs. Rule 3.1546 was adopted for mandatory EJTs in limited civil cases, rules 3.1547-1548 were amended and applicable only to cases with voluntary EJTs, and rules 3.1549-3.1553 were amended and applicable to all EJTs. Assignment of Judicial Officers, formerly rule 3.1546, was renumbered to 3.1553.

Many of the amendments effective on January 1, 2016, were revised to include electronic filing and service provisions.

Emergency Suspension of Case Management Rules

California Rules of Court, rules 3.712 and 3.720, were amended in February 2013 to permit courts to exempt by local rules types or categories of general civil cases from the mandatory case management rules. That emergency suspension affected cases filed before January 1, 2016. Effective January 1, 2016, that date was extended to cases filed before January 1, 2020. [CRC 3.720(b)]

2015 State Updates

Native American Day

Government Code section 6700 was amended to declare the fourth Friday of September as the state holiday of Native American Day, but it was not intended to be a judicial holiday. Code of Civil Procedure section 135 was amended, effective June 24, 2015, to clarify that it is not a judicial holiday.

Briefing Uniformity

Effective January 1, 2015, the briefing timelines for a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict [CCP § 629(b)] and a motion to set aside and vacate the judgment [CCP § 663a(d)] are the same as for a motion for new trial [CCP § 659a].

Certificate of Acknowledgment

Effective January 1, 2015, the top of a certificate of acknowledgment must now include a notice enclosed in a box that states, “A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.” [Civ. Code § 1188, subd. (a)(1)]

Sacramento County Superior Court

Local rules, effective January 1, 2019, are available at www.saccourt.ca.gov > Local Rules. For Limited Civil Case rules, see > Departments > Civil > Limited Civil Case Program.

Federal Updates

Amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Effective December 1, 2016)

Amendments were made to Rules 4, 6, and 82: Rule 4(m) was amended to add 4(h)(2) to the last sentence, Rule 6(d) was amended to omit electronic service from the 3-day service extension, and Rule 82 was amended to reflect the enactment of 28 USC § 1390 and repeal of § 1392.

Amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Effective December 1, 2015)

Amendments were made to Rules 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, and 55 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; and Rule 84 (forms) was abrogated, effective December 1, 2015. The blackline format of these changes are in Appendix B on page B-29 of the 2015 Calendar Procedures Key. Footnote references are also provided in Part II of that publication wherever applicable. The full text of these rules may be found at www.uscourts.gov > Rules & Policies > Current Rules of Practice & Procedure. Excerpts from the amendments are listed below with added text underlined.

  • Rule 1 – Scope and Purpose: Adds that the rules “. . . should be construed, administered, and employed by the court and the parties to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.”
  • Rule 4(m) – Summons: Subdivision (m) changed the time limit for service on defendant from 120 to 90 days after the complaint is filed.
  • Rule 16(b)(2) – Time to Issue Scheduling Order: The judge must issue the scheduling order as soon as practicable, but unless the judge finds good cause for delay, the judge must issue it within the earlier of 90 days [formerly 120 days] after any defendant has been served with the complaint or 60 days [formerly 90 days] after any defendant has appeared.
  • Rule 26(b)(1) – Scope in General: This subdivision now reads: “Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties’ relative access to relevant information, the parties’ resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.
  • Rule 26(d)(2) – Early Rule 34 Requests: Early FRCP 34 requests are allowed more than 21 days after the summons and complaint are served on a party. The request is considered to have been served at the first FRCP 26(f) conference. [If the early request is delivered under this rule, a written response is due within 30 days after the FRCP 26(f) conference. FRCP 34(b)(2)(A)]
  • Rule 30 – Depositions by Oral Examination, Rule 31 – Depositions by Written Questions, and Rule 33 – Interrogatories to Parties were amended to add reference to Rule 26(b)(1) and (2).
  • Rule 37(e) – Failure to Preserve Electronically Stored Information: The language in this rule was changed from “failure to provide” and applies when electronically stored information is lost that should have been preserved in anticipation or conduct of litigation because a party failed to take reasonable steps to preserve it, and it cannot be restored or replaced through additional discovery. If this situation occurs, (e)(1) and (2) address steps the court may take.
  • Rule 55(c) – Default; Default Judgment: “The court may set aside an entry of default for good cause, and it may set aside a final default judgment under Rule 60(b).”
  • Rule 84 – Forms (and the Appendix of Forms): The forms have been eliminated with the exception of former Form 5 (Notice of a Lawsuit and Request to Waive Service of a Summons) and Form 6 (Waiver of the Service of Summons). These two forms have been incorporated directly into FRCP 4 (Summons). The abrogation does not alter existing pleading standards or requirements of Rule 8 (General Rules of Pleading).

Local Rules of the California District Courts

Please visit the district court Web sites below for local rule amendments and other information. Always check local rules and “local” local rules. [See ¶8.1]

  • Eastern District (www.caed.uscourts.gov), effective January 1, 2015
  • Northern District (www.cand.uscourts.gov), civil rules, effective January 17, 2017; ADR local rules, effective September 15, 2015
  • Central District (www.cacd.uscourts.gov), effective December 1, 2016 (Ch. 1- Local Civil Rules)
  • Southern District (www.casd.uscourts.gov), effective February 9, 2016