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2016 California Rules of Court

Rule 3.1546. Pretrial procedures for mandatory expedited jury trials

(a) Pretrial procedures

The pretrial procedures for limited civil actions set out in Code of Civil Procedure sections 90-100 are applicable to all cases with mandatory expedited jury trials. The statutory procedures include limited discovery, optional case questionnaires, optional requests for pretrial statements identifying trial witnesses and exhibits, and the possibility of presenting testimony in the form of affidavits or declarations.

(b) Case management

The case management rules in chapter 3 of division 7 of these rules, starting at rule 3.720, are applicable to all cases with mandatory expedited jury trials, except to the extent the rules have been modified by local court rules applicable to limited civil cases.

(c) Opting out of mandatory expedited jury trial procedures

(1)Parties seeking to opt out of mandatory expedited jury trial procedures on grounds stated in Code of Civil Procedure section 630.20(b) must file a Request to Opt Out of Mandatory Expedited Jury Trial Procedures (form EJT-003).

(2)Except on a showing of good cause, the request to opt out must be served and filed at least 45 days before the date first set for trial or, in cases in which the date first set for trial occurred before July 1, 2016, 45 days before the first trial date after July 1, 2016.

(3)Except on a showing of good cause, any objection to the request must be served and filed within 15 days after the date of service of the request, on an Opposition to Request to Opt Out of Mandatory Expedited Jury Trial Procedures (form EJT-004).

(4)If the grounds on which a party or parties have opted out of mandatory expedited jury trial procedures no longer apply to a case, the parties must promptly inform the court, and the case may be tried as a mandatory expedited jury trial.

(d) Agreements regarding pretrial and trial procedures

Parties are encouraged to agree to procedures or limitations on pretrial procedures and on presentation of information at trial that could streamline the case, including but not limited to those items described in rule 3.1547(b). The parties may use Agreement of Parties (Mandatory Expedited Jury Trial Procedures) (form EJT-018) and the attachment (form EJT-022A) to describe such agreements.

Rule 3.1546 adopted effective July 1, 2016.

Advisory Committee Comment

Because Code of Civil Procedure section 630.20, which becomes operative July 1, 2016, applies to cases already on file and possibly already set for trial, as well as cases filed after the statutory provisions go into effect, the deadlines in rule 3.1546(c) for opt outs and objections may be problematic as applied to cases set for trial within the first couple of months after the rule goes into effect. It is expected that the good cause provisions within the rules regarding deadlines, along with judicious use of continuances as appropriate, will be liberally used to permit courts to manage those cases fairly, appropriately, and efficiently.

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