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I have a question about the unlimited civil filing fee.

Pleasanton, CA |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

If I file the cross complaint and motion to strike with my answer, jointly with my co-defendant, in our unlimited civil case, is it just the fee of $435, or is there an additional fee for the complaint, and is there even an additional fee for the motion to strike. Or are these all included in the $435. Is there a way around this fee? This is an unclean hands case; is there a fee-free motion to file to attempt to get the case dismissed based on unclean hands? No grounds for this suit. I could just imagine if 40 people (impossible yet possible in my example) filed unl. civil unclean hands cases, I'd have to pay $17,400 to answer and defend?! How does me having to pay make any sense. Any help is much appreciated, in advance. Thanks!

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

The filing fee for a first paper is $435 per defendant. You pay this fee when you file your answer, demurrer, motion to strike, or other first paper. The motion to strike involves an additional fee of $60, since it involves a hearing. Unless you can get a fee waiver based on financial hardship, the fees must be paid.

Whether the fee "makes sense" or not is probably not relevant in the grand scheme of things. The state has decided what the fee schedule should be, and we have to abide by it until it is changed.

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9 comments

Asker

Posted

We are filing jointly, would we still have to pay per defendant?

Asker

Posted

(meaning we have one answer to file)

Asker

Posted

Also, would the fee waiver form be exposed in trial or during any hearings, or to the other party, or is it a private situation?

Charles Richard Perry

Charles Richard Perry

Posted

Yes, the defense filing fee is "per defendant," even if you jointly file. I actually am not sure whether the fee waiver application is public or not, but I believe that it is. The issue would not necessarily come up in trial or at any hearing, but I believe the application is part of the public court file.

Asker

Posted

So it would be accessible by the Plaintiff?

Charles Richard Perry

Charles Richard Perry

Posted

The confidentiality of the application is governed by California Rules of Court 3.54, which makes the information in the application confidential. That information would be accessible to the plaintiff only if the Court issued an order to that effect. As such, the application itself is NOT a part of the Court file, contrary to my earlier statement.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for this information Charles. IF I could have afforded an attorney to do all this I would have. It's not difficult, but I am a stickler for fine details, especially since this is a verified answer. Can I use form POS-040 for proof of service? Or must I include the proof of service 'verbage' within the answer/cross complaint. And do I put the cross complaint into the verified answer pleading or must both be separate?

Charles Richard Perry

Charles Richard Perry

Posted

You can use POS-040 for the proof of service of any document in the litigation, once a party has been served with a summons and complaint, and you can always use this form when serving papers on the plaintiff. If you have named a new cross-defendant in the cross-complaint (meaning you're bringing a new party into the litigation) that cross-defendant must be served as though you were starting a new piece of litigation. As to that new defendant, then, POS-040 won't work. The cross-complaint should be a separate document. It is common practice to serve a verified answer only if the law requires a verified answer. There is nothing to stop you from verifying the answer any time you please, but there is generally no advantage to doing so.

Asker

Posted

Thanks again. As for the new cross-defendants, I read per the judicial council that I can use forms POS-015 and POS-010 to serve by mail- the corporation (new cross-defendant) is in Michigan and uses CSC here in California. The other new cross-def is an individual nearby that I will have served by personal service.

Posted

While I agree with Charles Perry you also should be informed that you should first file your Motion to Strike and get a ruling from the court before you file your Answer and Cross Complaint.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

I'm no longer filing a motion to strike.

Asker

Posted

My cross complaint was originally going to be a complaint filed against the auto dealership. They beat me to the lawsuit. I'm putting most of my focus on the cross-complaint.

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