A request for leave of court to file a compulsory cross-complaint in California is the topic of this blog post.
A request for leave of court to file a compulsory cross-complaint in the State of California is a very useful tool for any party that has discovered facts that support what are known as affirmative claims for relief which evolve from “a series of acts or occurrences logically interrelated” as these claims are for related causes of action that are subject to forfeiture if they are not pleaded in the action. This typically happens during the discovery phase of litigation.
Statutory authorization for leave of court to file a compulsory cross-complaint in California.
A request for leave of court to file a compulsory cross-complaint in the State of California is authorized by the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure section 426.50.
Code of Civil Procedure § 426.50 states that, “A party who fails to plead a cause of action subject to the requirements of this article, whether through oversight, inadvertence, mistake, neglect, or other cause, may apply to the court for leave to amend his pleading, or to file a cross-complaint, to assert such cause at any time during the course of the action. The court, after notice to the adverse party, shall grant, upon such terms as may be just to the parties, leave to amend the pleading, or to file the cross-complaint, to assert such cause if the party who failed to plead the cause acted in good faith. This subdivision shall be liberally construed to avoid forfeiture of causes of action”.
It should be noted that Code of Civil Procedure section 426.50 also allows any party to request leave of court to amend their cross-complaint to add additional causes of action at any time during the course of the action.
A California Court of Appeal has stated in a published case that a motion for leave of court to file a cross-complaint at any time during the course of an action must be granted unless the opposing party can show bad faith on the part of the moving party.
In the case of Silver Organizations Ltd. v. Frank (1990) 217 Cal.App 3d 94, 98-99 a California Court of Appeal stated that, “The legislative mandate is clear. A policy of liberal construction of section 426.50 to avoid forfeiture of causes of action is imposed on the trial court. A motion to file a cross-complaint at any time during the course of the action must be granted unless bad faith of the moving party is demonstrated where forfeiture would otherwise result. Factors such as oversight, inadvertence, neglect, mistake or other cause, are insufficient grounds to deny the motion unless accompanied by bad faith”
The Court also ruled in Silver Organizations Ltd. v. Frank, at 100, that “Our review of the entire record fails to reveal, directly or inferentially, any substantial evidence of bad faith by the appellants. Looking at the entire period between the filing of the complaint and the denial of the section 426.50 motion, a time frame of less than six months, we find nothing in appellants’ words or conduct remotely suggesting dishonest purpose, moral obliquity, sinister motive, furtive design or ill will”.
In Silver Organizations Ltd. v. Frank the Court of Appeal ruled that a time period of less than six months between the filing of a complaint and a motion to file a compulsory cross-complaint did not constitute bad faith
While other cases have ruled that a lengthy delay of over six months may constitute bad faith, the decision in Silver Organizations Ltd. v. Frank has not been disapproved or otherwise disagreed with in any other published case in the State of California as of the date of this blog post.
Any party that wants to request leave of court to file a compulsory cross-complaint should file their motion within six months or less to avoid the possibility of their motion being denied.
An experienced litigation attorney can evaluate your situation and determine whether the unique circumstances of your case would support a request for leave to file a compulsory cross-complaint. Contact attorney Nathan Mubasher for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.
Schedule a free consultation today with attorney Nathan Mubasher.
Call (800) 691-2721 and let’s talk about your options.
CONTACT INFORMATION FOR NATHAN MUBASHER:
Law Offices of Nathan Mubasher
2621 Green River Rd, Ste 105 PMB 403
Corona, CA 92882
tel 1-800-691-2721 | fax 1-310-356-3660
Thank you for reading. I hope I could have been educational as I endeavor to provide my knowledge as a free public service. Please note that all the materials and information on this blog are general analyses made available for the public’s general informational purposes only. These analyses are not in any way intended to serve as specific legal advice to be applied in your particular situation. Although I am an attorney, absent a signed retention and engagement letter, I am not your attorney. There are no exceptions to this rule. Moreover, you shall not rely on the information I am providing you, as it is only for your general knowledge and educational purposes, since this information would likely change based on any additional facts. Thus the transmission and receipt of information on this blog by anyone does not form or constitute an attorney-client relationship. My knowledge of laws is limited to California. Anyone receiving any information on this blog should not act upon the information provided without first obtaining the services of professional legal counsel licensed in their respective jurisdiction. Best of luck.