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How to Request another Case Management Conference when No Case Management Statement was filed

Sacramento, CA |

I'm a plaintiff, all parties are in pro per. Everyone missed the Case Management Conference, no one filed Case Management Statements. The court's ruling came out that trial dates have to be selected within the next 4 months.

That is way too soon since discovery hasn't even started and all defendants have not even answered or been served yet. How can I request another case management conference to extend the dates for trial and discovery?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

Mr. Chen has provided an excellent response. However, I will add the observation that the court normally does not set a trial date if the case is not at issue. If not all parties have not yet been served and appeared, the case is not at issue. If I were you I would file a declaration with the court apologizing to the court for missing the conference and explaining that not all parties have appeared yet and therefore the case is not at issue. The court may vacate the trial date and set a new status conference date down the line. Good luck.

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

Asker

Posted

Thank you all for your responses. Mr. Yee, how do I get a declaration to be looked at by a judge or whoever sets the CMCs? What should I put in the caption? Do I need to request a hearing date? Thank you again very helpful.

Paul Y. Lee

Paul Y. Lee

Posted

Just file one in the appropriate department. You do not need to request a hearing date. The caption can read something like the following: "Declaration of John Doe requesting that the Court vacate the trial date since the case is not at issue." Alternatively, just entitle it "Declaration of John Doe" or "Declaration of John Doe re Trial Date." The court will read it. I t will take action if deemed appropriate. Emphasize in your declaration that not all parties have appeared, the case is not at issue, and that the trial date should be vacated pending appearance by all parties. Good luck.

Posted

Proceduraly, you would not be requesting "another" Case Management Conference because the court apparently already conducted the CMC without you. Rather, if you believe a trial continuance is necessary, you need to file a motion to continue trial. See California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1332.

The court may grant a continuance only upon an affirmative showing of good cause. “The court must look beyond the limited facts which cause a litigant to request a last-minute continuance and consider the degree of diligence his or her efforts to bring the case to trial, including participating in earlier court hearings, conducting discovery, and preparing for trial.” (Oliveros v. County of Los Angeles (2004) 120 Cal.App.4th 1389, 1395, citing Link v. Cater (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 1315, 1324-1325.)

California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1332 defines the circumstances that may indicate good cause to include:

(1) The unavailability of an essential lay or expert witness because of death, illness, or other excusable circumstances;

(2) The unavailability of a party because of death, illness, or other excusable circumstances;

(3) The unavailability of trial counsel because of death, illness, or other excusable circumstances;

(4) The substitution of trial counsel, but only where there is an affirmative showing that the substitution is required in the interests of justice;

(5) The addition of a new party if:

(A) The new party has not had a reasonable opportunity to conduct discovery and prepare for trial; or

(B) The other parties have not had a reasonable opportunity to conduct discovery and prepare for trial in regard to the new party's involvement in the case;

(6) A party's excused inability to obtain essential testimony, documents, or other material evidence despite diligent efforts; or

(7) A significant, unanticipated change in the status of the case as a result of which the case is not ready for trial.

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.

Asker

Posted

Hello, I spoke with the court clerk who told me the case is out of Case Management and has been referred to trial setting and the trial dates have to be selected in the next 2 months. There is no trial date yet. Where do I go from here? Or can you point me to the right codes/rules that I need to look up? Thank you again.

Asker

Posted

For future reference I think I answered my own question, in Sacramento there is a local form CV E TSP 185 Ex Parte Application to Extend Time to Select Trial Date and Mandatory Settlement Conference Date .

Posted

In any event, you need to get all your defendants served and start discovery ASAP. You should not count on the Court granting you an extension of the length you seek, or indeed, granting you any extension at all. As the plaintiff, you have the obligation to move the case forward.