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2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 3.300. Related cases

(a) Definition of "related case"

A pending civil case is related to another pending civil case, or to a civil case that was dismissed with or without prejudice, or to a civil case that was disposed of by judgment, if the cases:

(1)Involve the same parties and are based on the same or similar claims;

(2)Arise from the same or substantially identical transactions, incidents, or events requiring the determination of the same or substantially identical questions of law or fact;

(3)Involve claims against, title to, possession of, or damages to the same property; or

(4)Are likely for other reasons to require substantial duplication of judicial resources if heard by different judges.

(Subd (a) adopted effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Duty to provide notice

Whenever a party in a civil action knows or learns that the action or proceeding is related to another action or proceeding pending, dismissed, or disposed of by judgment in any state or federal court in California, the party must serve and file a Notice of Related Case.

(Subd (b) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as part of subd (a) effective January 1, 1996; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(c) Contents of the notice

The Notice of Related Case must:

(1)List all civil cases that are related by court, case name, case number, and filing date;

(2)Identify the case that has the earliest filing date and the court and department in which that case is pending; and

(3)Describe the manner in which the cases are related.

(Subd (c) adopted effective January 1, 2007.)

(d) Service and filing of notice

The Notice of Related Case must be filed in all pending cases listed in the notice and must be served on all parties in those cases.

(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(e) Time for service

The Notice of Related Case must be served and filed as soon as possible, but no later than 15 days after the facts concerning the existence of related cases become known.

(Subd (e) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(f) Continuing duty to provide notice

The duty under (b)-(e) is a continuing duty that applies when a party files a case with knowledge of a related action or proceeding, and that applies thereafter whenever a party learns of a related action or proceeding.

(Subd (f) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as part of subd (a; previously adopted as subd (b) effective January 1, 2007.)

(g) Response

Within 5 days after service on a party of a Notice of Related Case, the party may serve and file a response supporting or opposing the notice. The response must state why one or more of the cases listed in the notice are not related or why other good cause exists for the court not to transfer the cases to or from a particular court or department. The response must be filed in all pending cases listed in the notice and must be served on all parties in those cases.

(Subd (g) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as subd (c); previously amended and relettered as subd (d) effective January 1, 2007.)

(h) Judicial action

(1)Related cases pending in one superior court

If all the related cases have been filed in one superior court, the court, on notice to all parties, may order that the cases, including probate and family law cases, be related and may assign them to a single judge or department. In a superior court where there is a master calendar, the presiding judge may order the cases related. In a court in which cases are assigned to a single judge or department, cases may be ordered related as follows:

(A)Where all the cases listed in the notice are unlimited civil cases, or where all the cases listed in the notice are limited civil cases, the judge who has the earliest filed case must determine whether the cases must be ordered related and assigned to his or her department;

(B)Where the cases listed in the notice include both unlimited and limited civil cases, the judge who has the earliest filed unlimited civil case must determine whether the cases should be ordered related and assigned to his or her department;

(C)Where the cases listed in the notice contain a probate or family law case, the presiding judge or a judge designated by the presiding judge must determine whether the cases should be ordered related and, if so, to which judge or department they should be assigned;

(D)In the event that any of the cases listed in the notice are not ordered related under (A), (B), or (C), any party in any of the cases listed in the notice may file a motion to have the cases related. The motion must be filed with the presiding judge or the judge designated by the presiding judge; and

(E)If the procedures for relating pending cases under this rule do not apply, the procedures under Code of Civil Procedure section 1048 and rule 3.350 must be followed to consolidate cases pending in the same superior court.

(2)Related cases pending in different superior courts

(A)If the related cases are pending in more than one superior court on notice to all parties, the judge to whom the earliest filed case is assigned may confer informally with the parties and with the judges to whom each related case is assigned, to determine the feasibility and desirability of joint discovery orders and other informal or formal means of coordinating proceedings in the cases.

(B)If it is determined that related cases pending in different superior courts should be formally coordinated, the procedures in Code of Civil Procedure section 403 and rule 3.500 must be followed for noncomplex cases, and the procedures in Code of Civil Procedure section 404 et seq. and rules 3.501 et seq. must be followed for complex cases.

(3)Complex cases

The provisions in (1) of this subdivision do not apply to cases that have been designated as complex by the parties or determined to be complex by the court.

(Subd (h) amended effective January 1, 2008; adopted as subd (d); previously amended and relettered as subd (e) effective January 1, 2007.)

(i) Ruling on related cases

The court, department, or judge issuing an order relating cases under this rule must either:

(1)File a notice of the order in all pending cases and serve a copy of the notice on all parties listed in the Notice of Related Case; or

(2)Direct counsel for a party to file the notice in all pending cases and serve a copy on all parties.

(Subd (i) adopted effective January 1, 2007.)

(j) Cases not ordered related

If for any reason a case is not ordered related under this rule, that case will remain assigned to the court, judge, or department where it was pending at the time of the filing and service of the Notice of Related Case.

(Subd (j) adopted effective January 1, 2007.)

(k) Exception

A party is not required to serve and file Notice of Related Case under this rule if another party has already filed a notice and served all parties under this rule on the same case.

(Subd (k) adopted effective January 1, 2007.)

Rule 3.300 amended effective January 1, 2008; adopted as rule 804 effective January 1, 1996; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007.

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