Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

Dismissed civil case

What can I do if my Civil case was dismissed because I arrived late for the hearing? Can I appeal?

Asked on 4/22/08, 1:00 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Robert F. Cohen Law Office of Robert F. Cohen

Re: Dismissed civil case

You could immediately (don't wait) file a motion to set aside dismissal based on grounds of inadvertence, mistake, or excusable neglect. Support your argument with a declaration explaining your excusable neglect.

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Answered on 4/22/08, 1:11 pm


Re: Dismissed civil case

In some cases, you can file a motion to reinstate the case, using Code of Civil Procedure 473.5 or 473 as a basis for relief. It can get a bit complicated, depending upon the facts.

It is unclear if your case was dismissed BECAUSE you failed to appear or if it was dismissed for another reason, and your failure to appear is not relevant. For example, if you filed a lawsuit and the defendant responded with a demurrer, and you then failed to oppose the demurrer, then the court would likely dismiss the case regardless of whether you appeared at the hearing on the demurrer.

This answer presumes that you are asking about "regular" court, i.e. not Small Claims hearings.

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Answered on 4/22/08, 1:20 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Re: Dismissed civil case

An appeal is pointless, as the court didn't make any 'mistake' in doing what it did. Instead, you must file a motion to be relieved from default, seeking to have the case and hearing put back on calendar. If that is denied, then you might have grounds for an appeal. No, there is not a 'form' to check off, it has to be a custom drafted motion supported by proper declarations and evidence and legal arguments. Feel free to contact me if serious about getting the legal help you'll need in doing this.

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Answered on 4/22/08, 1:28 pm
Dieter Zacher Law Offices of Dieter Zacher

Re: Dismissed civil case

You have 6 months from the date of dismissal to set aside the order of dismissal by filing a motion to set aside based upon California Code of Civil Procedure section 473 [mistake, inadvertence, excusable neglect]. The motion must also contain a declaration explaining and giving a good reason why you did not appear on time. We can draft the motion for you for a flat fee. Let's talk.

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Answered on 4/22/08, 1:37 pm

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