Los Angeles, CA asked in Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for California

Q: Do you have to set aside a judgment first before it is vacated for being void? When does the court lose jurisdiction

it’s been 3 1/2 months since judgement was entered. I can prove reasons judgment is void 473 lack subject matter:fraud on court:

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, a judgment can be vacated or set aside if it is determined to be void. You do not necessarily need to set aside the judgment before it can be vacated. However, the process and timeline for challenging a void judgment depends on the specific circumstances and reasons for its invalidity.

Regarding the court's jurisdiction, generally, a California court loses jurisdiction to vacate or amend a judgment once the judgment becomes final. A judgment typically becomes final 60 days after it is entered if no appeal is filed, or 30 days after the Court of Appeal's decision becomes final if an appeal is filed.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. Under California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) § 473(d), a court may set aside a void judgment at any time. A judgment can be considered void if:

1. The court lacked subject matter jurisdiction;

2. The court lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendant; or

3. The judgment was obtained through fraud on the court.

If you can prove that the judgment is void due to one of these reasons, you can file a motion to vacate the judgment under CCP § 473(d). This motion can be filed even after the judgment has become final.

Given that it has been 3.5 months since the judgment was entered, you may still be able to file a motion to vacate the judgment if you can demonstrate that it is void due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction or fraud on the court. However, it is crucial to act promptly and provide sufficient evidence to support your claim.

It is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced attorney who can review your case, advise you on the best course of action, and assist you in preparing and filing the necessary documents to challenge the judgment.

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