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Motion to Vacate Judgment & Enter New Judgment - CCP 663

Los Angeles, CA |

Would you agree that a CCP 663 motion to vacate would be allowed after any court ruling (i.e. not just after judgment), which the language of the statute states,and a point which is further exemplified in the California Supreme Court case, County of Alameda v. Carleson (1971) 5 C3d 730, 738, 97 CR 385], which states that CCP § 663 permits the motion to be made whenever the trial judge draws an incorrect legal conclusion or renders an erroneous judgment on the facts found to exist and is not required to be made only after judgment?

see Mathew Bender MB Practice Guide; 2-27: Trial & Post-Trial Civil Proc 27.07: 27.07[3] Motion Need Not Await Final Judgment. In authorizing a motion to vacate a judgment for incorrect or erroneous conclusions of law not consistent with, or not supported by, the findings of fact, CCP § 663 permits the motion to be made whenever the trial judge draws an incorrect legal conclusion or renders an erroneous judgment on the facts found to exist [ County of Alameda v. Carleson (1971) 5 C3d 730, 738, 97 CR 385, 488 P2d 953] . {i.e. judgment needs not be entered for a CCP 663 motion to be heard}.

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Attorney answers 2


No, only a judgment or a decree, not any court ruling.

The trial court is empowered to set aside a judgment based on incorrect or erroneous legal basis for the decision, not consistent with or not supported by the facts materially affecting the substantial rights of the moving party and entitling the party to a different judgment. (Code Civ. Proc., § 663.)

A CCP § 663 motion does not allow the court to reweigh the facts. It lies only on the basis of uncontroverted evidence. (Simac Design, Inc. v. Alciati (1979) 92 Cal.App.3d 146, 153.)

The moving party must file a “notice of intention to move to set aside the judgment.” That notice must designate the grounds upon which the motion will be made (e.g., judgment contrary to special verdict); and specify the particulars in which the judgment errs. (CCP § 663a.)

The time limits for filing a motion to vacate under CCP § 663 are the same as for new trial motions–i.e., the moving party must file and serve the notice of motion either: before entry of judgment; or within 15 days “of the date of mailing of notice of entry of judgment by the clerk, or service upon him by any party of written notice of entry of judgment”; or within 180 days after entry of judgment, whichever is earliest. (CCP § 663a; Maides v. Ralphs Grocery Co. (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1363, 1367–notice of motion timely even though filed before entry of judgment.)

The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.


No. Section 663 specifically refers to and relates to correcting a judgment. There are other sections of the CCP which provide a basis for setting aside incorrect interim rulings (section 1008, for example). Also, a party may verbally ask the court to correct a ruling: "[N]othing would prevent the losing party from asking the court at a status conference to reconsider a ruling. (See Weil & Brown, Cal. Practice Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial, supra, § 9:327.8, p. 9(1)-107.) But a party may not file a written motion to reconsider that has procedural significance if it does not satisfy the requirements of section ... 1008." (Le Francois v. Goel (2005) 35 Cal.4th 1094, 1108.)

Your misunderstanding of the law is a prime example of the reason to retain an attorney whenever possible. (We attorneys recognize, of course, that there are times when that is simply not feasible for one reason or another.)

DISCLAIMER: Neither the information in nor this communication itself are intended to create an attorney-client relationship between you and me or my law firm. The information in this communication is intended for general informational purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. It is not a substitute for an in-person or telephone consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely upon the information in this communication. You understand that this communication is not confidential and is not subject to the attorney-client privilege.