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2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 1.6. Definitions and use of terms

As used in the California Rules of Court, unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires:

(1)  "Action" includes special proceeding.

(2)  "Case" includes action or proceeding.

(3)  "Civil case" means a case prosecuted by one party against another for the declaration, enforcement, or protection of a right or the redress or prevention of a wrong. Civil cases include all cases except criminal cases and petitions for habeas corpus.

(4)  "General civil case" means all civil cases except probate, guardianship, conservatorship, juvenile, and family law proceedings (including proceedings under divisions 6-9 of the Family Code, Uniform Parentage Act, Domestic Violence Prevention Act, and Uniform Interstate Family Support Act; freedom from parental custody and control proceedings; and adoption proceedings), small claims proceedings, unlawful detainer proceedings, and "other civil petitions" described in (5).

(5)  "Civil petitions" that are not general civil cases include petitions to prevent civil harassment, elder abuse, and workplace violence; petitions for name change; election contest petitions; and petitions for relief from late claims.

(6)  "Unlimited civil cases" and "limited civil cases" are defined in Code of Civil Procedure section 85 et seq.

(7)  "Criminal case" means a proceeding by which a party charged with a public offense is accused and prosecuted for the offense.

(8)  "Rule" means a rule of the California Rules of Court.

(9)  "Local rule" means every rule, regulation, order, policy, form, or standard of general application adopted by a court to govern practice and procedure in that court or by a judge of the court to govern practice or procedure in that judge's courtroom.

(10)  "Chief Justice" and "presiding justice" include the Acting Chief Justice and the acting presiding justice, respectively.

(11)  "Presiding judge" includes the acting presiding judge or the judicial officer designated by the presiding judge.

(12)  "Judge" includes, as applicable, a judge of the superior court, a commissioner, or a temporary judge.

(13)  "Temporary judge" means an active or inactive member of the State Bar of California who, under article VI, section 21 of the California Constitution and these rules, serves or expects to serve as a judge once, sporadically, or regularly on a part-time basis under a separate court appointment for each period of service or each case heard.

(14)  "Person" includes a corporation or other legal entity as well as a natural person.

(15)  "Party" is a person appearing in an action. Parties include both self-represented persons and persons represented by an attorney of record. "Party," "plaintiff," "People of the State of California," "applicant," "petitioner," "defendant," "respondent," "other parent," or any other designation of a party includes the party's attorney of record.

(16)  "Attorney" means a member of the State Bar of California.

(17)  "Counsel" means an attorney.

(18)  "Sheriff" includes marshal.

(19)  "Service" means service in the manner prescribed by a statute or rule.

(20)  "Memorandum" means a written document containing: a statement of facts; a concise statement of the law, evidence, and arguments relied on; and a discussion of the statutes, cases, rules, and other legal sources relied on in support of the position advanced.

(21)  "Declaration" includes "affidavit."

(22)  "California Courts Web Site" means the Web site established by the Judicial Council that includes news and information, reference materials, rules and forms, and a self-help center. The address is: www.courts.ca.gov.

Rule 1.6 amended effective January 1, 2014; adopted as rule 200.1 effective January 1, 2003; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective July 1, 2007, July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2013.

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