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Can I add plaintiffs or defendants to a lawsuit when I file a Second Amended Complaint?

San Jose, CA |

I filed a suit with DOE plaintiffs and ROE defendants knowing that other people suffered injuries similar to my own and I did not know everyone responsible.
I just had a hearing on a demurrer and the judge sustained part of Defendant's demurrer with 10 days leave to amend. I have identified some of these DOE plaintiffs and one ROE defendant. Can I just add them to the caption and have the plaintiffs sign the Second Amended Complaint?

Attorney Answers 1


You cannot add people as plaintiffs to your case without their permission. You would be dragging them into litigation without their knowledge. At this point they can file their own lawsuits and if they are very similar, the court might group all of the suits together. You add DOE defendants very differently than just adding their name to a new pleading. There is a DOE Amendment form. Prepare and file that.

Consider getting an attorney. It is not too late. You are headed into very complicated situations in which you have a high likelihood of being overwhelmed and beaten by process and procedure that you do not know how to handle. It would be a shame to lose your case, assuming it has value, because of that.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

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I am aware that I cannot add people without their consent. They are already interested in joining and would sign the amended pleadings.

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