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Peremptory challenges in California under Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6

Peremptory challenges in the State of California are the topic of this blog post.  Many peremptory challenges are made under Section 170.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure as the filing of a peremptory challenge allows an attorney or a party involved in litigation in California to disqualify a judge, court commissioner, or court referee by the filing and service of a peremptory challenge.

The peremptory challenge must be filed and served within the time limits specified in Section 170.6.  Only one peremptory challenge may be filed by any attorney or party pursuant to Section 170.6, and the failure to file a timely peremptory challenge may result in an attorney or party having to have their trial or hearing heard by a judicial officer whom they feel is prejudiced against them, or their interests.  Note that refusing to stipulate to a court commissioner does not count as a peremptory challenge.  Thus any attorney or party who has refused to stipulate to a court commissioner still retains their right to one peremptory challenge.

A California Court of Appeal has stated that the time to file a Section 170.6 challenge does not commence when defendant makes a special appearance to contest the court’s jurisdiction such as a motion to quash service of a summons. It begins only when a defendant makes their first general appearance in the action.  The Court of Appeal also stated that while the defendant does have the option to peremptorily challenge the judge scheduled to hear the motion to quash, the defendant is not required to do so.

Many of the larger counties in California have a local form which can be used for the peremptory challenge.  However, smaller counties may not have any local form.

Attorneys or parties in California who would like to view a sample peremptory challenge under Section 170.6 created by the author can see below.

Attorneys or parties in California that would like more information on a super litigation documents package containing a sample peremptory challenge in California as well as over 200 other sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation selling for only $299.99 can use the link shown below.

Super litigation documents package

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995.

If you enjoy this blog post, tell others about it. They can subscribe to the author’s weekly California legal newsletter by visiting the following link: http://www.legaldocspro.net/newsletter.htm

Copyright 2012 Stan Burman. All rights reserved.


Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

These materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.


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