How Do I Amend a Complaint in California Superior Court for a Limited Civil Case?
In California, a complaint may be amended without court permission if no reply from the defendant has been filed, or if made after demurrer and before the trial. Otherwise, a motion must be made to the court asking for leave (permission) to amend the complaint. A memorandum must be attached stating the reasons for amending and why it would be in the interests of justice and not prejudicial to the other party to allow the amendment.
Please see the following CA statutes:
471.5. (a) If the complaint is amended, a copy of the amendments
shall be filed, or the court may, in its discretion, require the
complaint as amended to be filed, and a copy of the amendments or
amended complaint must be served upon the defendants affected
thereby. The defendant shall answer the amendments, or the complaint
as amended, within 30 days after service thereof, or such other time
as the court may direct, and judgment by default may be entered upon
failure to answer, as in other cases. For the purposes of this
subdivision, "complaint" includes a cross-complaint, and "defendant"
includes a person against whom a cross-complaint is filed.
(b) If the answer is amended, the adverse party has 10 days after
service thereof, or such other time as the court may direct, in which
to demur to the amended answer.
472. Any pleading may be amended once by the party of course, and
without costs, at any time before the answer or demurrer is filed, or
after demurrer and before the trial of the issue of law thereon, by
filing the same as amended and serving a copy on the adverse party,
and the time in which the adverse party must respond thereto shall be
computed from the date of notice of the amendment.
Please see the following CA court rules:
RULE 8.808. MOTIONS
(a) Motion and opposition
(1) Except as these rules provide otherwise, to make a
motion in the appellate division a party must serve and file
a written motion, stating the grounds and the relief
requested and identifying any documents on which it is
(2) A motion must be accompanied by a memorandum and, if it
is based on matters outside the record, by declarations
or other supporting evidence.
(3) Any opposition to the motion must be served and filed
within 15 days after the motion is filed.
(1) The court may rule on a motion at any time after an
opposition or other response is filed or the time to oppose
(2) On a party's request or its own motion, the appellate
division may place a motion on calendar for a hearing. The
clerk must promptly send each party a notice of the date and
time of the hearing.
RULE 8.817. SERVICE AND FILING
(1) Before filing any document, a party must serve, by any
method permitted by the Code of Civil Procedure, one copy
of the document on the attorney for each party separately
represented, on each unrepresented party, and on any other
person or entity when required by statute or rule.
(2) The party must attach to the document presented for
filing a proof of service showing service on each person
or entity required to be served under (1). The proof must name
each party represented by each attorney served.
(1) A document is deemed filed on the date the clerk
(2) Unless otherwise provided by these rules or other law, a
filing is not timely unless the clerk receives the document
before the time to file it expires.
(3) A brief, a petition for rehearing, or an answer to a
petition for rehearing is timely if the time to file it has
not expired on the date of:
(A) Its mailing by priority or express mail as shown on the
postmark or the postal receipt; or
(B) Its delivery to a common carrier promising overnight
delivery as shown on the carrier's receipt.
(4) The provisions of (3) do not apply to original