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Can change the caption on your First Amended Complaint to add new defendants?

San Diego, CA |
Filed under: Litigation

During the litigation the named defemdant- homeowners sold their homes, thus the new homeowners are not really Does qualifying for Doe amendments. The new defendants aquired an interest in the property now and while we were not ignorant of their existence, we could not anticipate their later aquired interest. Anyone know any rules that let the caption be amended on such grounds.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

I don't understand why you think that the new owners can't be named as a DOE. You can file a form amendment to name the DOE defendant without leave of court. San Diego Superior Court should have a form for that. In Los Angeles Superior, you would use LACIV 105. You do not amend the caption. The DOE amendment form is mail served on all parties who have appeared and the proof of service of mailing is filed with the court with the DOE amendment.

Richard A. Rodgers, Esq. (805) 230-2525
rar@sd-attorneys.com
www.sdresq.com

As stated in the AVVO.COM Terms and Conditions of Use, this answer is not intended as legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship or privilige is created by this response.

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Posted

Court rules dictate that you never change the caption. Even if parties are added or deleted, and even if you amend the body of the pleading to make changes, you do not ever change the caption. This is because the original complaint was filed with the original caption, and the court needs to track all documents filed in that case using that caption.

This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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1 lawyer agrees

3 comments

Gregg Lander

Gregg Lander

Posted

What is the Rule of Court or CCP section that prohibits this?

Asker

Posted

Actually, you CAN change/amend the caption. Based on case law, it appears to be allowed through the court's inherent power. The vehicle to change the caption is simply styled a "Motion to Amend Caption." See, Bank of America v. Superior Court (1973) 35 Cal.App.3d 555.

Asker

Posted

I just recently filed a Stip and Proposed Order for filing a SAC in lieu of Motion and in my Stip and agreed to by the parties I mentioned how the change of caption is reflected. I will know shortly if the Court accepts a SAC with a caption that is accurate to date. The problem we had and the Defendants asked for this was originally a Complaint against 4 defendants, two eventually got dismissed. There were three individual ;lawsuits filed subsequently and it became ridiculous to be dealing with 4 distinct matters and the parties never initiated the Court to officially consolidate them. So in my infinite wisdom through the filing of a SAC and a dismissal of the three other related actions hopefully the Ct will Order the SAC and a new caption.

Posted

I agree with Attorney Yee. You should not change the captions.

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3 comments

Gregg Lander

Gregg Lander

Posted

What is the Rule of Court or CCP section that prohibits this?

Asker

Posted

Actually, you CAN change/amend the caption. Based on case law, it appears to be allowed through the court's inherent power. The vehicle to change the caption is simply styled a "Motion to Amend Caption." See, Bank of America v. Superior Court (1973) 35 Cal.App.3d 555.

Asker

Posted

Frank, I read great advice from you all the time on Avvo. I just recently filed a Stip and Proposed Order for filing a SAC in lieu of Motion and in my Stip and agreed to by the parties I mentioned how the change of caption is reflected. I will know shortly if the Court accepts a SAC with a caption that is accurate to date. The problem we had and the Defendants asked for this was originally a Complaint against 4 defendants, two eventually got dismissed. There were three individual ;lawsuits filed subsequently and it became ridiculous to be dealing with 4 distinct matters and the parties never initiated the Court to officially consolidate them. So in my infinite wisdom through the filing of a SAC and a dismissal of the three other related actions hopefully the Ct will Order the SAC and a new caption.

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