I assume that the court action is in Small Claims court in California.
If so, your mother needs to file a request to postpone the trial with the court and serve it on the plaintiff.
Th form for this request can be found at http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/sc150.pdf
I cannot advise you as to whether the request will be granted, but my experience is that small claims courts often try to be accommodating if they know the reason for a postponement is legitimate and the length of postponement requested is reasonable.
Best of luck to you and to your mother.
Your mother should complete and file this form:
If the trial/hearing is in less than 10 days, you need to fill out and bring Form SC-150 (Request to Postpone Small Claims Hearing) to the court clerk's office. In your form SC-150 or letter, give the judge a good reason why you are filing your request late. Here, the medical reasons appear to constitute "good cause".
Also, mail or personally give a copy of your Form SC-150 to the other parties.
Best of luck!
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.