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Motion for leave to amend in California pursuant to section 473(a)

A motion for leave to amend in California pursuant to sections 473(a) and 576 of the Code of Civil Procedure is the topic of this blog post.  In most cases the pleading would be an answer, complaint or cross-complaint.

Both Code of Civil Procedure sections 473(a) and 576 state in pertinent part that a court may, in the furtherance of justice, allow a party to amend any pleading on any terms as may be proper.

However the party requesting leave to amend must comply with California Rule of Court 3.1324 or risk having their motion denied. Rule 3.1324 states that

“(a) Contents of motion

A motion to amend a pleading before trial must:

(1) Include a copy of the proposed amendment or amended pleading, which must be serially numbered to differentiate it from previous pleadings or amendments;

(2) State what allegations in the previous pleading are proposed to be deleted, if any, and where, by page, paragraph, and line number, the deleted allegations are located; and

(3) State what allegations are proposed to be added to the previous pleading, if any, and where, by page, paragraph, and line number, the additional allegations are located.

(b) Supporting declaration

A separate declaration must accompany the motion and must specify:

(1) The effect of the amendment;

(2) Why the amendment is necessary and proper;

(3) When the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and

(4) The reasons why the request for amendment was not made earlier.

(c) Form of amendment

The court may deem a motion to file an amendment to a pleading to be a motion to file an amended pleading and require the filing of the entire previous pleading with the approved amendments incorporated into it.

(d) Requirements for amendment to a pleading

An amendment to a pleading must not be made by alterations on the face of a pleading except by permission of the court. All alterations must be initialed by the court or the clerk.

Numerous decisions of the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal have stated that permitting amendments in the furtherance of justice is to be liberally permitted at any stage of the proceeding.

“This statutory provision giving the courts the power to permit amendments in furtherance of justice has received a very liberal interpretation by the courts of this state.”  Klopstock v. Superior Ct. (1941) 17 Cal.2d 13, 19.

Liberal amendment of pleadings has been the established policy of California since 1901.

“That the trial courts are to liberally permit such amendments, at any stage of the proceeding, has been established policy of this state since 1901.” Hirsa v. Superior Ct. (1981) 118 Cal.App.3d 486, 488-89

The policy favoring leave to amend is so strong that amendment must be permitted unless the adverse party can show meaningful prejudice which includes the running of the statute of limitations, a delay of the trial, the loss of critical evidence, or added preparation costs.

Unless a showing of meaningful prejudice is made by the adverse party even delay alone is not a sufficient reason for denying leave to amend.

Attorneys or parties in California considering requesting leave to amend a pleading may view a portion of a sample motion for leave to amend that contains a memorandum of points and authorities with citations to case law and statutory authority sold by the author below.

 

Attorneys or parties in California that would like more information on a California law and motion litigation document package containing over 55 sample documents including a motion for leave to amend a pleading can use the link shown below.

California law and motion litigation document package

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents.

Follow the author on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LegalDocsPro

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:  To subscribe to his FREE weekly legal newsletter visit http://freeweeklylegalnewsletter.gr8.com/

Copyright 2013 Stan Burman. All rights reserved.

<strong>DISCLAIMER:</strong>

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.

The 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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