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Important Advisements

Pursuant to section 1010.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, rule 2.253(b)(2) of the California Rules of Court, Orange County Superior Court Rule 352, and Administrative Order 13/03, all documents filed by attorneys in limited, unlimited, and complex civil actions must be filed electronically unless the Court rules otherwise. Self-represented parties are exempt from the mandatory electronic filing requirement set forth in Orange County Superior Court Local Rules 352, but are strongly encouraged to participate voluntarily in electronic filing and service.

Electronically filed documents subject to the mandatory electronic filing requirements in probate, limited civil, unlimited civil, and complex civil actions can be filed until midnight on the day that the filing is due, and will be considered timely pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6(b)(3). The document is “filed” at the date and time it is received by the court and the confirmation of receipt is created. See Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 2.259(a)(1). Any electronically filed document received by the Court on or after midnight will be file stamped on the next court day.

In addition to the Self-Help Centers, if you need access to a computer to eFile, you can find public computers at most public libraries and at the Public Law Library.

Orange County Public Libraries, Locations & Hours

Orange County Public Law Library

Examples Of Motions

Motions are written documents that ask the court to make orders. Motions can come before, during, or after the trial. Any party may file a Motion. The opposing party may contest the Motion by filing an Opposition to the Motion.

Pretrial Motions

  • Demurrer to the pleadings
  • Motion to quash summons
  • Motion to strike pleadings
  • Motion to transfer case to another court
  • Motion to continue (postpone) trial
  • Motion to compel discovery
  • Motion for summary judgment

Post-Trial Motions

  • Motion for new trial
  • Motion to tax costs
  • Motion to amend judgment

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Local Policies And Procedures

Many judges have policies, procedures, and guidelines to supplement state statutes and rules. These may be found online for each judge as follows:

Be sure to read these before proceeding. Limited Civil cases do not have general policies or guidelines, but do adhere to state statutes and rules.

Filing And Opposing A Motion

You will have to formally prepare the Motion or oppose a Motion on pleading paper in accordance with the law and California Rules of Court. There are no fillable forms. Motions are complicated. You may wish to seek the advice of a lawyer to be sure the documents are properly prepared.

Parts of a Motion

Unless otherwise required by law, a motion must consist of at least the following:

  • A notice of hearing on the motion
  • The motion itself
  • A memorandum in support of the motion or demurrer (referred to as points and authorities)

Parts of an Opposition to a Motion

Unless otherwise required by law, an opposition to a motion generally contains the following:

  • Declaration of facts
  • A memorandum in opposition to the motion (referred to as points and authorities)

You can find samples of these papers in California Forms of Pleading and Practice, at the Orange County Public Law Library. This book can help you fill out the right forms to file a Motion or opposition to a Motion.

There are special things to remember about formal Motions and oppositions to Motions:

  • Proper Form: Every part has to be written in the right way on pleading paper. It has to follow the law and court rules about how to file papers with the Court. Refer to:
  • Penalty of Perjury: Any declaration you make about the facts of the case, you make under penalty of perjury. The person who signs the form has to say in the declaration that they personally know the facts are true, and they can testify to that (Section 2015.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure).
  • Declaration of Facts: This form should say all the facts you need, but only the ones you need to support what you are asking for. This is usually a lot less than what you have to prove at trial.
  • Legal Authority: The form called Memorandum of Points and Authorities has to say every point that you want to make. It includes what is in the declaration of facts, and how the law supports your statements. This can be:
    • Statutes
    • Cases in the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals
    • Legal writing

California Points and Authorities is a book which you can find at the Orange County Public Law Library that can help you draft the Memorandum of Points and Authorities. But no book can give you all the help you need to support your case.

The Memorandum of Points and Authorities ends with a conclusion. If you are the one who is asking the court for something, say what it is you want. If you are opposing the request, say what decision you think the court should make.

Selecting a Hearing Date

Each judge in Unlimited Civil and Complex Civil has specific requirements as to when Motions can be heard. Some judges require that you reserve a date and time. To find out this information, click on the following links and scroll to the name of the judge assigned to your case:

Serving and Filing the Motion or Opposition

You have to serve the other person and file all your papers with the court. The date the documents must be served and filed prior to the hearing date depends on the type of Motion you are filing. If you are filing an Opposition to a Motion, there are also laws and rules which specify when the Opposition must be served by. Unless otherwise specified by law, see Code of Civil Procedure sections 1003 to 1020.

Generally, service may be made by mailing the documents by first class mail by someone not a party to the action who is at least 18 years old. The server must complete a Proof of Service (POS-040).

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Ex Parte Motions

An Ex Parte Motion is when one side gets to meet with the judge without the other side there. This can be to ask for an order. For example, if you cannot file and serve a Motion within the time limits required by law, you can ask the court for an Order Shortening Time For Service of Notice of Motion. This means you can have your Motion heard sooner that the law normally requires. The rules for Ex Parte Motions/Applications can be found in the California Rules of Court, rule 3.1200 to 3.1207.

Each judge in Unlimited Civil and Complex Civil has specific requirements as to when an Ex Parte Motion can be heard and when the Ex Parte Motion must be filed by. To find out this information, click on the following links and scroll to the name of the judge assigned to your case:

  • Unlimited Civil
  • Complex Civil
  • For Limited Civil cases, there are no special court requirements. Click here to find out when Ex Parte Motions are scheduled for Limited Civil at each Justice Center.

You have to tell the other person the date and time you are going to give the judge your application. This is called informal notice. California Rules of Court, rule 3.1203 says you must notify all parties no later than 10:00am the court day before the ex parte appearance, unless you have a good reason to give less time. You must file a declaration with the court regarding the notice. The declaration must contain certain facts. Read California Rules of Court, rule 3.1204 for more information.

Here are some examples of Ex Parte Motions:

  • Motion to "quash" a subpoena: This cancels a subpoena.
  • Motion for order shortening time to serve a motion: This is a court order that gives you more time to serve the other person.
  • Motion for extension of time to file responsive pleading: This gives you more time to file your response.

Tentative Rulings

A number of the judicial officers provide tentative rulings posted on the court’s website for the convenience of attorneys and parties. The tentative rulings can be accessed by clicking on the name of the judicial officer. Tentative rulings are typically posted by 3:00PM the day before the scheduled hearing date.

Additional Resources

You can get help from different reference books at the Orange County Public Law Library:

  • California Forms of Pleading and Practice
  • California Points and Authorities
  • Civil Procedure Before Trial (CEB - One Volume)

Additionally, refer to the:

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