• Serve Defendant after Complaint Filed – 60 days after filing.  [Source: CRC 3.110]
  • Serve Doe Defendant Added via Amended Complaint – 30 days after adding.  [Source: CRC 3.110(b)]
  • Deadline to file Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint (proving to Court Defendant was served) – 60 days after serving complaint.  [Source: CCP § 583.210]
  • Defendant’s Time Limit to File Answer or Demurrer – 30 days from date complaint served on Defendant.  [Source:  CCP 412.20]


  • Plaintiff Must wait 10 days to Propound Written Discovery on Another Party .  [CCP § 2030.020 (interrogatories)],[2031.020 (inspection demands)].
  • Defendant may Serve Discovery Anytime  [CCP § 2030.020]
  • Deposition Notice – 20 days after service of Complaint for Plaintiff, Defendant may serve notice at anytime.  [CCP 2025.210]
  • Depositions – Must set at least 10 days in  advance (+5 days if the notice is mailed – CCP 1013 + 2 days if overnight, “0” days if personally served).  [CCP 2025.270].
  • Depositions With Records Requests – If seeking “personal records” of a “consumer” the procedure differs based on whether taking the deposition of  a party (plaintiff, defendant, cross-defendant, etc.) or non-party witness:
    • For parties to the lawsuit – no subpoena is necessary, and the party can be compelled to produce “personal records” with 10 days notice.  [CCP 2025.270]  (+5 days if the notice is mailed, + 2 days if overnight, “0” days if personally served – ccp 1013).
    • For non-party witnesses – A subpoena must be issued and served at least 20 days before the deposition.  [CCP 2025.270] (+5 days if the notice is mailed, + 2 days if overnight, “0” days if personally served- ccp 1013)
  • Depositions in Unlawful Detainer Actions – Only 5 days notice required. [CCP 2025.270(b)]
  • Subpoena for Personal records – Must be served on consumer at least 15 (20 days usually) days before date of production.  [ CCP § 1985.3(d) incorporating CCP 2020.220(a)].  The records subpoena may not be served on records custodian until five days have passed after service on on consumer. [CCP § 1985.3(b)(3)]
  • Subpoena for Employment Records – Must be served on the employee 10 days before date for production (20 days before usually, see below), 5 days before custodian of records served.  [CCP § 1985.6(b)(2)&(3).] Must be served on records custodian 15 days before date of production.
  • Motion to Quash Subpoena Duces Tecum – serve on defense counsel at least five days before production of documents date [CCP 1985.3(g)1985.6(f)(2)]
  • Nota Buena: Court has right to grant a motion to quash after this deadline.  [Slage v. Sup. Ct. (1989) 211 Cal. App.3d 1309, 1313]
  • Move to Compel Additional Answers – 45 days after date produced, beware of calculation method and meet and confer requirements.   [CCP § 2030.300]
  • Responses Due to Written Discovery – 30 days (add 5 days if discovery was mailed, add 2 days if overnight courier or stipulation for Email service under CCO 1010, add “0″ days if personally served).
  • Discovery terminates prior to Arbitration – typically 15 days before arbitration.  [CRC 3.822]  Note:  Trial date continuance does not automatically extend the discovery cutoff date.
  • Last Day to Serve Discovery (essentially, and be able to make a motion on it) – 90-100 days before trial.
  • Discovery closes before trial: 30 days before trial.  [CCP 2024.020]
  • Final Day Court will Hear Discovery Motions – 15 days before trial.  [CCP 2024.020]


  • Expert Exchange Demand – 70 days before trial (or within 10 days of trial setting date, whichever is closer to trial date)  [CCP 2034.220]
  • Expert Disclosure – 50 days before trial (or 20 days after demand served, whichever is closer to trial )  [CCP 2034.230]
  • Supplemental Expert Disclosure – Must be disclosed within 20 days of the initial Exchange of Expert Witnesses.  Only allowed to disclose witness covering opponent’s witnesses.  [CCP 2034.280]
  • Expert Depositions – set “On receipt of an expert witness list from a party.”  [CCP 2034.410]
  • Expert Discovery Cut Off – 15 days before original trial date.  [CCP 2024.030].
  • Last Day for Motions Regarding Experts – 10 days before original trial date.  [CCP 2024.030].


  • Arbitrator Must Issue Award – Within 10 days after arbitration conclusion (or 20 days if the Arbitrator applies for more time).  [CRC 3.825]
  • Reject Arbitration Award – Due within 60 days of service of arbitration award.  [CRC 3.826]
  • Discovery Closes Before Arbitration – Typically 15 days before arbitration, beware of unusual orders by arbitrator.   [CRC 3.822].


  • 998 Offers to Compromise – Propound offer no later than 10 days prior to trial.   [CCP 998].
  • Notice to Appear at Trial (to party) [No documents] – 10 days before trial, send notice with time and place to attorney. [CCP § 1987(b)].
  • Notice to Appear at Trial (to party) [With documents] – 20 days before trial, send notice with time and place to attorney. [CCP § 1987(c)].
  • Objection to Notice to Appear At Trial With Documents – 5 days “or any other time period as the court may allow”. Beware of this date as there is a dispute on this.  [CCP § 1987(c)].


  • Noticed motions – must be served and filed 16 court days before the hearing date (+ 5 more calendar days if served by mail, + 2 more if served by fax (only by stipulation), express mail, or overnight delivery + 0 days if personally served). [CCP  1005] Note: CCP 1013 does not apply.
  • Opposition to noticed motion – must be filed and served 9 court days before hearing, service may be in any manner designed to effectuate service the next day, including fax or email even without a stipulation.  [CCP  1005, 1013].
  • Reply to noticed motion – 5 court days before hearing,  service may be in any manner designed to effectuate service the next day, including fax or email even without a stipulation.  .  [CCP  1005, 1013].
  • Ex Parte Motion – Opposing party must be notified by 10:00 A.M. the day before the hearing, absent “exceptional circumstances.”  [CRC 3.1203].  Note:  This is a minimum.  Check local superior court rules for more strict notice requirements.
  • Table of Contents/Authorities – Required on motions over 10 pages.   [CRC 3.1113(f)]

Manner of service: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, all papers opposing a motion and all reply papers shall be served by personal delivery, facsimile transmission, express mail, or other means consistent with Sections 101010111012, and 1013, and reasonably calculated to ensure delivery to the other party or parties not later than the close of the next business day after the time the opposing papers or reply papers, as applicable, are filed.” [CCP 1005(c)].

CCP 1013: “…The service is complete at the time of the deposit, but any period of notice and any right or duty to do any act or make any response within any period or on a date certain after the service of the document, which time period or date is prescribed by statute or rule of court, shall be extended five calendar days, upon service by mail, if the place of address and the place of mailing is within the State of California, 10 calendar days if either the place of mailing or the place of address is outside the State of California but within the United States, and 20 calendar days if either the place of mailing or the place of address is outside the United States.”

  • Motions for Summary Judgment – Notice is due 75 days before hearing (+10 if outside CA, +20 if outside US) [CCP 437c(a)].  Opposition is due 14 days before the hearing [CCP 437c(b)(2)].  Reply is due 5 days before hearing.  [CCP 437c(b)(3)].
    • Motion must be heard 30 days before trial date.  [CCP 437c(a)]
      • Note:  This 30 day time limit can be modified by the court for “good cause.”  [CCP 437c(a)]
      • Note:  Essentially, this means a MSJ must be filed 105 days before trial.


  • Oral Contracts – 2 years from the date of breach [CCP 339]
  • Fraud or Medical Malpractice – 3 years from the date of injury, or 1 year after the plaintiff discovers the injury, whichever occurs first.   [CCP 340.5]  Note: You must give 90 days notice of intent to sue. [CCP 364].  Note:  Statute may be tolled by (1) upon proof of fraud, (2) intentional concealment, or (3) the presence of a foreign body, which has no therapeutic or diagnostic purpose or effect, in the person of the injured person.  [CCP 340.5]
  • Breach of a Written Agreement, Book Account, Account Stated  – 4 years typically for breach of contract claims
  • Promissory Note – 4 or 6 years, depending on the circumstance (Cal. Commercial Code 3118)
  • Time Limit to Bring Case to Trial – Five years from the date the lawsuit was filed.  [CCP 583.310]

This page is not legal advice, and there is no guarantee that this information is up to date.  If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

This page was created by and (c)  via Lenden Webb and Webb & Bordson, APC. If you would like to copy this information, please request permission.   Please feel free to link to this page.