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AB-1582 Civil actions: telephone appearances.(2011-2012)

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Assembly Bill
No. 1582

Introduced  by  Assembly Member Wagner

February 02, 2012

An act to amend Section 367.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure, relating to civil actions.


AB 1582, as introduced, Wagner. Civil actions: telephone appearances.
Existing law authorizes a court to permit parties to appear by telephone in designated conferences, hearings, and proceedings in civil cases and to require, at its discretion, a personal appearance in those matters if it would assist in the determination of the proceedings or in the management or resolution of the case. Under existing law, the Judicial Council was required to adopt rules by January 1, 2008, prescribing the notice for telephonic appearances and the procedure for conducting those appearances.
This bill would require a court to permit a telephonic appearance by parties and their attorneys and would expand the types of hearings, conferences, and proceedings where those telephonic appearances must be permitted by the court. The bill would specify that this requirement is subject to the court’s discretion, which may require a personal appearance under the circumstances specified in existing law. The bill would extend the time for the Judicial Council to prescribe the notice and procedure for telephonic appearances to July 1, 2013.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 367.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

 (a) It is the intent of this section to promote uniformity in the procedures and practices relating to telephone appearances in civil cases. To improve access to the courts and, reduce litigation costs, and reduce the environmental impact associated with personal appearances, courts should, to the extent feasible, shall, except as provided by subdivision (c), permit parties and their attorneys to appear by telephone at appropriate conferences, hearings, and proceedings in civil cases identified in subdivision (b).
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), in all general civil cases, as defined in the California Rules of Court, a moving party or an opposing party that has provided notice may appear by telephone at the following conferences, hearings, and proceedings:
(1) A case management conference, provided the party has made a good faith effort to meet and confer before the conference as required by law and has timely served and filed a case management statement.
(2) A trial setting conference.

(3)A hearing on law and motion, except motions in limine.


(3) A hearing on a discovery motion.


(4) A conference to review the status of an arbitration or mediation.


(5) A hearing to review the dismissal of an action.
(6) An ex parte hearing.
(7) A motion to set aside a default or default judgment.
(8) A motion to quash.
(9) A demurrer or motion to strike.
(10) A motion for judgment on the pleadings.
(11) A status conference.
(12) A hearing on a motion for summary judgment or adjudication.
(13) A motion to be relieved as counsel.
(14) A motion for good faith settlement or opposition to an application for good faith settlement.
(15) A motion to tax or strike costs.
(16) A motion for attorney’s fees.
(17) A motion for sanctions.
(18) A motion to continue trial.
(19) A motion to enforce a settlement or to enter judgment pursuant to Section 664.6.
(20) A hearing on any law and motion matter not identified in paragraphs (1) to (19), inclusive, except motions in limine.


(21) Any other hearing, conference, or proceeding if the court determines that a telephone appearance is appropriate.
(c) The court may require a party to appear in person at a hearing, conference, or proceeding listed in subdivision (b) if the court determines on a hearing-by-hearing basis that a personal appearance would materially assist in the determination of the proceedings or in the effective management or resolution of the particular case.
(d) Consistent with its constitutional rulemaking authority, the Judicial Council shall adopt rules effectuating the policies and provisions in this section by January July 1, 2008 2013, and may adopt rules relating to matters not covered by subdivision (a). The rules may prescribe, but are not limited to prescribing, the notice to be given by a party requesting a telephone appearance under subdivision (a), the manner in which telephone appearances are to be conducted, the conditions required for a party to be permitted to appear by telephone, and provisions relating to the courts’ use of private vendors to provide telephone services.
(e) This section does not apply to any types of cases or types of conferences, hearings, and proceedings except those specified in subdivision (b). Consistent with its constitutional rulemaking authority, the Judicial Council may by rule provide for the procedures and practices, and for the administration of, telephone appearances for all types of cases and matters not specified in subdivision (b). For these other cases and matters, the Judicial Council may specify the types of cases and matters in which parties may appear by telephone, the types of cases and matters in which parties shall appear personally, the conditions under which a party may be permitted to appear by telephone, and any other rules governing telephone and personal appearances that are within its rulemaking authority.