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California Law Revision Commission

-- Last revised 11/12/02 --

Unnecessary Procedural Differences Between Limited and Unlimited Civil Cases - Study J-1320-2

    To identify opportunities for simplification, the California Law Revision Commission reviewed statutes that differentiate between limited and unlimited civil cases. The Commission recommended the following reforms:

(1) The same rules for pleading damages should apply in all actions for personal injury or wrongful death, regardless of the jurisdictional classification of the case. Code Civ. Proc. §§ 425.10, 425.11.

(2) The distinction between attachment undertakings in limited and unlimited civil cases should be eliminated, and the amount of the initial undertaking increased to $10,000. Code Civ. Proc. § 489.220.

(3) The clerk of court should be permitted to record a satisfaction of judgment where there is an interest deficit of $10 or less in an unlimited civil case, not just in a limited civil case. Code Civ. Proc. § 685.030.

(4) The differentiation between limited and unlimited civil cases as to the amount of a creditor's undertaking where there is a third-party claim should be eliminated. Code Civ. Proc. §§ 720.160, 720.260.

(5) The same filing fee should be required for all confessions of judgment, regardless of the size of the claim. Code Civ. Proc. § 1134. (6) The same filing fee should be required for the first paper in all limited civil cases, regardless of the size of the demand. Gov't Code § 72055.

    The Commission's recommendation was enacted by the Legislature. See below.
    If you have questions or comments on this study, send email to Barbara Gaal at

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Tentative Recommendations and Other Requests for Comment

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