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2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 8.931. Petitions filed by persons not represented by an attorney

(a) Petitions

A person who is not represented by an attorney and who petitions the appellate division for a writ under this chapter must file the petition on Petition for Writ (Misdemeanor, Infraction, or Limited Civil Case) (form APP-151). For good cause the court may permit an unrepresented party to file a petition that is not on form APP-151, but the petition must be verified.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2018.)

(b) Contents of supporting documents

(1)  The petition must be accompanied by an adequate record, including copies of:

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

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

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

(D)  A reporter's transcript, a transcript of an electronic recording or, if the court has a local rule permitting this, an electronic recording of the oral proceedings that resulted in the ruling under review.

(2)  In extraordinary circumstances, the petition may be filed without the documents required by (1)(A)-(C) but must include a declaration that explains the urgency and the circumstances making the documents unavailable and fairly summarizes their substance.

(3)  If a transcript or electronic recording under (1)(D) is unavailable, the record must include a declaration:

(A)  Explaining why the transcript or electronic recording is unavailable and fairly summarizing the proceedings, including the parties' arguments and any statement by the court supporting its ruling. This declaration may omit a full summary of the proceedings if part of the relief sought is an order to prepare a transcript for use by an indigent criminal defendant in support of the petition and if the declaration demonstrates the need for and entitlement to the transcript; or

(B)  Stating that the transcript or electronic recording has been ordered, the date it was ordered, and the date it is expected to be filed, which must be a date before any action requested of the appellate division other than issuance of a temporary stay supported by other parts of the record.

(4)  If the petition does not include the required record or explanations or does not present facts sufficient to excuse the failure to submit them, the court may summarily deny a stay request, the petition, or both.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2014; previously amended effective January 1, 2009.)

(c) Form of supporting documents

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

(A)  If submitted in paper form, they must be bound together at the end of the petition or in separate volumes not exceeding 300 pages each. The pages must be consecutively numbered.

(B)  If submitted in paper form, they must be index-tabbed by number or letter.

(C)  They must begin with a table of contents listing each document by its title and its index- number or letter. If a document has attachments, the table of contents must give the title of each attachment and a brief description of its contents.

(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.

(3)  Unless the court provides otherwise by local rule or order, only one set of the supporting documents needs to be filed in support of a petition, an answer, an opposition, or a reply.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2016; previously amended effective January 1, 2011.)

(d) Service

(1)  The petition and one set of supporting documents must be served on any named real party in interest, but only the petition must be served on the respondent.

(2)  The proof of service must give the telephone number of each attorney or unrepresented party served.

(3)  The petition must be served on a public officer or agency when required by statute or rule 8.29.

(4)  The clerk must file the petition even if its proof of service is defective, but if the petitioner 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 impose a lesser sanction.

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

Rule 8.931 amended effective January 1, 2018; adopted effective January 1, 2009; previously amended effective January 1, 2009, January 1, 2011, January 1, 2014, and January 1, 2016.

Advisory Committee Comment

Subdivision (a). Petition for Writ (Misdemeanor, Infraction, or Limited Civil Case) (form APP-151) is available at any courthouse or county law library or online at www.courts.ca.gov/forms.

Subdivision (b). Rule 2.952 addresses the use of electronic recordings and transcripts of such recordings as the official record of proceedings.

Subdivision (d). Rule 8.25, which generally governs service and filing in appellate divisions, also applies to the original proceedings covered by this rule.

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