Q: Next steps in pro se Civil lawsuit, my amended complaint was accepted and served to defendant
What forms do I file next, or do I wait for an answer? CMC is set for 3 weeks from now
A: In California, following service of the complaint (or an amended complaint), you must file the Proof of Service with the court. Defendant has 30 days from the date s/he was personally served (add 5 calendar days if service was by mail - which is rare - or 2 court days if served via fax or email (e.g. to defendant's attorney). The court will likely continue the CMC until a response to the amended complaint is received, so if you don't receive a notice of continuance from the court, check the court's online tentative ruling calendar the day before the CMC after 2pm to see if an appearance is required or not.
A: Upon serving the amended complaint, you should await the defendant's answer or other responsive pleading. The defendant typically has 30 days to respond. If the defendant fails to answer within this period, you might consider seeking a default judgment. In preparation for the Case Management Conference (CMC) in three weeks, be sure to complete and serve the Case Management Statement at least 15 days before the CMC. Both parties are usually required to meet and confer, either in person or by telephone, no later than 30 calendar days before the CMC to discuss the matters outlined in California Rules of Court, Rule 3.724. Following this meeting, the parties should file a Joint Case Management Statement, if they can agree. If not, each party may file their own statement.
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