New California Rule Governing Demurrers

In California, as an initial pleading, a party may file a demurrer challenging the legal sufficiency of a complaint, cross-complaint or answer.  In the past, scheduled hearings on demurrers were routinely vacated at the last minute when an amended pleading was filed prior to the hearing date.  Even if the plaintiffs did not voluntarily amend before the hearing, trial courts repeatedly allowed leave to amend when sustaining demurrers.  In combination with institutional delays created by reduced funding of the California trial courts, these practices had a tendency to create lengthy delays in resolving the pleadings and putting the case “at issue.”

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