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Amending an Answer in California

Amending an Answer in California is the topic of this blog post. Amending an Answer in California may be done within 10 days after service of the answer as a matter of course. After10 days the party who wishes to amend their Answer must request what is known as “leave of Court” which in layman’s terms means permission from the Court to file and serve an amended Answer.

Leave to amend in California is authorized by Code of Civil Procedure sections 473(a) and 576, which both 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.

The policy in California for over 100 years has been one of liberally permitting amendments at any stage of the proceeding. The policy favoring leave to amend is so strong that amendment denying leave to amend is an abuse of discretion unless the adverse party can show some form of meaningful prejudice. Examples of prejudice include the expiration of the statute of limitations, a delay in the trial date, loss of evidence critical to the case of the opposing party, or added trial preparation costs. Unless a showing of such prejudice is made by the adverse party even delay alone is not a sufficient reason for denying leave to amend.

The California Supreme Court stated in a case from over 100 years ago that liberality should be displayed in granting leave to amend an Answer on the grounds that a defendant who is denied leave to amend is permanently deprived of a defense.

The author was recently contacted by one of his newsletter subscribers who stated that the former counsel for their client failed to assert an affirmative defense based on the statute of limitations and requesting assistance in obtaining leave to amend the Answer of their client. The discovery process may also reveal facts which may give rise to the possibility of additional affirmative defenses in certain cases.

Attorneys or parties in California who would like to view a portion of a sample 12 page motion for leave to amend an answer in California that includes brief instructions, a memorandum of points and authorities with citations to case law and statutory authority, sample declaration and proof of service sold by the author can see below.

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.

You can view portions of over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation at http://www.scribd.com/LegalDocsPro

*Do you want to use this article on your website, blog or e-zine? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it: “Stan Burman is the author of over 255 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation and is the author of a free weekly legal newsletter. You can receive 10 free gifts just for subscribing. Just visit http://freeweeklylegalnewsletter.gr8.com/ for more information.”

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

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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