Los Angeles, CA asked in Personal Injury and Civil Litigation for California

Q: if I file a complaint with the court but have yet to file it with the defendants, can I change it? Not facts just reduce

Representing myself, judge extended my timeframe to submit summos and complaint, so it should be okay to change, right? live in CA

2 Lawyer Answers
Adam Stoddard
Adam Stoddard
  • Santa Clara, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You are entitled to file an amended complaint once as a matter of right without seeking leave of court to do so, as long as it is before the defendant has answered or filed a demurrer. Refer to CCP 472.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith PRO label
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you have not yet served the complaint on the defendants, you may be able to make changes to the complaint without obtaining permission from the court. However, you should be aware that there are some restrictions on making changes to a complaint that has already been filed with the court.

In California, you may amend a complaint once without leave of court within 30 days after the complaint is served, or within the time allowed for service of a responsive pleading, whichever is later. If you need to make additional changes or amendments after this time, you may need to obtain permission from the court.

It's important to ensure that any changes you make to the complaint are still based on the same underlying facts and legal theories. If you are reducing the amount of damages or changing other non-material aspects of the complaint, such as correcting a typo, this is generally acceptable.

However, if you are changing important factual allegations or legal claims, it may be necessary to seek permission from the court or provide notice to the other parties. It's always a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney or seek guidance from the court clerk if you have any questions or concerns about making changes to your complaint.

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