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General appearance in California

A general appearance in California is the topic of this blog post.  Once a defendant or cross-defendant makes a general appearance in an action they have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court.  A general appearance is any appearance in which the defendant participates in the action in a manner which recognizes the jurisdiction of the court.

Code of Civil Procedure section 1014 states in pertinent part that, “A defendant appears in an action when the defendant answers, demurs, files a notice of motion to strike, files a notice of motion to transfer pursuant to Section 396b, moves for reclassification pursuant to Section 403.040, gives the plaintiff written notice of appearance, or when an attorney gives notice of appearance for the defendant.”

If a defendant raises an issue for resolution or seeks relief available only if the court has jurisdiction over the defendant, then the appearance is a general one. See Factor Health Management v. Superior Court (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 246, 250.

And if a party brings a motion to vacate a judgment against it for lack of personal jurisdiction under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (d) that raises any other issues, that will constitute a general appearance waiving the jurisdictional issue. Weil & Brown, Cal. Practice Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial (The Rutter Group 2013) ¶ 3:165, pp. 3-56.2-3.56-3, citing Renoir v. Redstar Corp. (2004) 123 Cal.App.4th 1145, 1153.

Essentially any appearance in which a defendant does not object to the jurisdiction of the court will be considered a general appearance.

Opposing a motion for attorney fees on other than jurisdictional grounds is also a general appearance. Alioto Fish Co. v. Alioto (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 1669, 1688-1689.

And naming a motion or pleading as a special appearance is not controlling.   See Szynalski v. Superior Court (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 1, 11; Greener v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (1993) 6 Cal.4th 1028, 1037 [“Notwithstanding a `special appearance’ designation on a motion to quash, if the movant seeks relief on any basis other than lack of personal jurisdiction, he or she makes a general appearance.”

Attorneys or parties in California who would like to view over 300 sample legal documents for sale by the author of this blog post can visit the following link: http://www.scribd.com/LegalDocsPro

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 for California and Federal litigation.

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

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You can view sample legal document packages for sale by going to http://www.legaldocspro.com/downloads.aspx

DISCLAIMER:

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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