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2017 California Rules of Court

Rule 8.972. Petitions filed by persons not represented by an attorney

(a) Petitions

(1)A person who is not represented by an attorney and who requests a writ under this chapter must file the petition on a Petition for Writ (Small Claims) (form SC-300). For good cause the court may permit an unrepresented party to file a petition that is not on that form.

(2)If the petition raises any issue that would require the appellate division judge considering it to understand what was said in the small claims court, it must include a statement that fairly summarizes the proceedings, including the parties' arguments and any statement by the small claims court supporting its ruling.

(3)The clerk must file the petition even if it is not verified but if the party asking for the writ fails to file a verification within five days after the clerk gives notice of the defect, the court may strike the petition.

(b) Contents of supporting documents

(1)The petition must be accompanied by copies of the following:

(A)The small claims court ruling from which the petition seeks relief;

(B)All documents and exhibits submitted to the small claims court supporting and opposing the petitioner's position; and

(C)Any other documents or portions of documents submitted to the small claims court that are necessary for a complete understanding of the case and the ruling under review.

(2)If the petition does not include the required documents or does not present facts sufficient to excuse the failure to submit them, the appellate division judge may summarily deny a stay request, the petition, or both.

(c) Form of supporting documents

(1)Documents submitted under (b) must comply with the following requirements:

(A)They must be attached to the petition. The pages must be consecutively numbered.

(B)They must each be given a number or letter.

(2)The clerk must file any supporting documents not complying with (1), but the court may notify the petitioner that it may strike or summarily deny the petition if the documents are not brought into compliance within a stated reasonable time of not less than five days.

(d) Service

(1)The petition and all its attachments, and a copy of Information on Writ Proceedings in Small Claims Cases (form SC-300-INFO) must be served personally or by mail on all the parties in the case, and the petition must be served on the small claims court.

(2)The petitioner must file a proof of service at the same time the petition is filed.

(3)The clerk must file the petition even if its proof of service is defective but if the party asking for the writ fails to file a corrected proof of service within five days after the clerk gives notice of the defect, the court may strike the petition or allow additional time to file a corrected proof of service.

(4)The court may allow the petition to be filed without proof of service.

Rule 8.972 adopted effective January 1, 2016.

Advisory Committee Comment

Subdivision (a). Petition for Writ (Small Claims) (form SC-300) and Information on Writ Proceedings in Small Claims Cases (form SC-300-INFO) are available at any courthouse or county law library or online at www.courts.ca.gov/forms.

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