Skip to main content

Statement of damages and default judgment.

San Diego, CA |

I am considering requesting a default judgment but am concerned whether I have sufficiently stated damages sought in my complaint. I did attach a notice of punitive damages sought and there are references to certain amounts in the body of the complaint but not in the prayer for relief. There are also other damages which would have been difficult to quantify except by a trier of fact, including specific amounts for different statutory damages, and being a landlord-tenant case, different amounts for retroactive rent abatement, violation of covenant of quiet enjoyment, etc.. Is this partial description of damages sufficient for seeking entry of default or did my complaint need a very specific and itemized statement of damages? The notice of punitive damages sought is high and could included all the other damages but would that be acceptable if the other types of damages aren't all specifically defined?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

A complaint does not need to be specific in the damages sought.

A statement of damages is not necessary unless the case is for wrongful death or personal injury.

You need to prove up the actual amount of your damages in your CCP 585 declaration

http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/litigation-tips--obtaining-a-court-default-judgment-in-california?ref=kb_serp_title_7

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 posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

Mark as helpful

2 comments

Asker

Posted

Would the following cover my situation? CCP 580 provides: "The relief granted to the plaintiff, if there be no answer, cannot exceed that which he shall have demanded in his complaint; but in any other case, the Court may grant him any relief consistent with the case made by the complaint and embraced within the issue." cited in FN. 1, Greenup v. Rodman (1986) 42 Cal.3d 822.

Asker

Posted

In any case can I serve the defendants with a statement of damages under CCP 425.11(c) even if the case is not one involving personal injury or wrongful death?

Posted

i slightly disagree on this confusin issue. There is much debate on these topics. When you are getting a default, you can only get as much as in the complaint and the statement of damages. A recent Court of Appeals ruling claimed it is a due process issue. Are you happy with the amount of damages you put in the complaint and the statement of damages? Of course, after, you will have to prove to the Court an entitlement to the damages claimed.

For more information, contact me at mark@wagnerlegalgroup.com or (310) 857-5293. You can also view my website at www.wagnerlegalgroup.com. LEGAL DISCLAIMER: NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP: The information provided herein is intended for informational purposes only. This information does not necessarily reflect current legal or factual developments and is general in nature. Nothing set forth in this email should be construed as providing legal advice regarding an individual situation. Mark Wagner and/or the Wagner Legal Group makes no warranty, express or implied, about the correctness, accuracy or reliability of the information set forth in this email. The information provided in this email should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of legal services with Mark Wagner and/or the Wagner Legal Group or establish an attorney-client relationship. There should be no expectation that an attorney-client relationship has been created unless you receive and accept a written form of engagement setting forth the terms of the representation. This response may constitute Legal Advertising/Marketing.

Mark as helpful

3 comments

Asker

Posted

Would the following cover my situation? CCP 580 provides: "The relief granted to the plaintiff, if there be no answer, cannot exceed that which he shall have demanded in his complaint; but in any other case, the Court may grant him any relief consistent with the case made by the complaint and embraced within the issue." cited in FN. 1, Greenup v. Rodman (1986) 42 Cal.3d 822.

Asker

Posted

In any case can I serve the defendants with a statement of damages under CCP 425.11(c) even if the case is not one involving personal injury or wrongful death?

Asker

Posted

Would you know off-hand the title of the Court of Appeals case you mention in your answer? Tthanks.