Santa Barbara County Superior Court Rules


    This rule is adopted pursuant to the Trial Court Delay Reduction Act (Government Code §68600 et seq.), and shall apply to all general civil actions, and all limited civil actions as specified, filed after January 1, 1988 except those actions excluded by Government Code §68608, §68620, and such other actions specified by the court. It is the policy of this court pursuant to the above Act to manage all civil cases from the time the complaint is filed and to achieve dispositions in such civil cases as expeditiously as possible. Counsel and parties to any civil action subject to this rule shall have an affirmative duty to diligently and expeditiously prepare such cases for trial.
    Upon filing of the complaint in general civil cases, the Court shall randomly assign a judge to hear the case for all purposes and shall notice the Plaintiff of the selection of the all purpose judge. The Court shall also set a Case Management Conference 120 days from the date of filing of the complaint and send notice to the Plaintiff of the assigned, all purpose judge and the date set for the Case Management Conference.

    All parties brought into the case shall be immediately noticed by Plaintiff of the assignment of the all-purpose judge and of the date set for the Case Management Conference. A Proof of Service of the assigned, all purpose judge and date of the Case Management Conference shall be filed by Plaintiff with the Court within five (5) days after service. Plaintiff shall be required to provide such notice to all parties, including, but not limited to, defendants, cross-defendants and intervenors. Failure to give notice and file proof thereof may result in the imposition of sanctions.
    Within 60 days after filing of the complaint, the plaintiff(s) in general and limited civil actions shall file with the court proof of service upon the defendant(s). If plaintiff(s) cannot with reasonable diligence serve process on all named defendants within that time period, plaintiff(s) may do one of the following: (1) file a motion to extend time to serve the defendant(s) no later than 60 days from the date the initial complaint was filed. Such motion shall be set for hearing on the Civil Law & Motion Calendar within 20 days after filing and such motion shall be accompanied by a declaration stating the reason(s) why the complaint cannot be timely served in accordance with this rule; or (2) file an application for an ex parte order to extend time for service of process within such 60-day period, provided that plaintiff(s) uses the form application approved by the court. If the application for an ex parte extension is denied, the court shall order the applicant to appear on the Civil Law & Motion Calendar and show cause why the application should be granted.
    It is the policy of this court to disfavor delays in serving or extensions of time to answer any pleading.
    The court shall conduct a case management conference 120 days from the date that the complaint was filed in all general and limited civil cases. Each counsel shall file the Case Management Conference statement not later than 15 calendar days before the 120 day Case Management Conference in accordance with Local Court Rule 1102 and Rule 212 of the California Rules of Court. At the Case Management Conference, the court shall consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, including, but not limited to, mediation, all forms of arbitration, early settlement conferences, use of special masters or referees, private judicial decisions and judge pro tems. If the court deems it appropriate, the court may assign the case to an ADR proceeding prior to setting the case for trial. Counsel attending the Case Management Conference shall be thoroughly familiar with the case and shall have discussed with their clients ADR methods and settlement procedures, and have authority to act on behalf of their clients in these matters.
    Any unlawful detainer case not actually disposed of or set for trial within 45 days from the date of filing of the complaint may be set for case management conference to determine the status of such case.
    If proof of service of the complaint is not filed and no timely motion to extend the time for such action has been set for a hearing in general or limited civil cases, the court may issue an order to show cause. At any order to show cause hearing or at any other hearing pursuant to this rule, the court may make such orders as appropriate to eliminate delay, including but not limited to, requiring the immediate service of pleadings, the limitation of discovery, law and motion, or other pretrial procedures, and any such other orders as may be required to cause the case to proceed expeditiously. In cases that are filed on or after January 1, 1991, the court shall not require shorter time periods than those specified in Government Code §68616. If the court at any time finds that any party or attorney has not proceeded with due diligence, the court may impose any sanctions authorized by law or local court rules including, but not limited to, dismissal of the case or striking of the pleadings as well as monetary sanctions.
    The court may designate appropriate cases as "Uninsured Motorist." Cases designated by the court as "Uninsured Motorist" may have additional time, not to exceed 180 days, providing that counsel files a declaration and order to designate the case as "Uninsured Motorist" with the court within 60 days after the complaint was filed. The declaration shall state that the case is a personal injury or property damage action filed against a defendant(s) who is an uninsured motorist and plaintiff(s) claim is subject to an arbitration provision of an insurance policy which applies to all or part of the loss claimed.
    In accordance with Rule 2105(c) of the California Rules of Court, the Superior Court hereby presumes that a case is subject to the disposition goal under case-management Plan I, i.e., disposition within 12 months of filing of the complaint. The court may modify the assigned case-management plan at any time for good cause shown.
    Pursuant to Government Code §68612, this rule and any court policies and procedures adopted pursuant to this rule, shall take precedence over any conflicting statutory provisions or California Rules of Court, except those provisions relating to time periods set forth in Government Code §68616 for cases filed on or after January 1, 1991.
    (Adopted: 07-01-99; As Amended 07-01-01 & corrected on 07/19/01; As Amended, eff. 01-01-03)

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