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Frequently Asked Questions – Civil & Family Law


The court cannot provide legal advice or answer legal questions. Legal questions should be addressed to an attorney or the legal aid office. You may reach the local Self-help Legal Aid Office at (209) 754-1443.

What forms are required to file a complaint?

The Complaint, Summons, and Civil Case Cover Sheet are required at the time of initial filing.

How must the defendant be served with my complaint?

The summons and complaint may be served by a Sheriff, Marshal, registered process server, or anyone over the age of 18 who is not a party to the action. The party performing the service must complete and sign a proof of service form. The original proof of service must be filed with the court before a judgment can be obtained against the defendant.

How do I respond to a complaint?

If you have been served with a summons and complaint and want to respond, forms are available at the clerk's office. A five-day summons requires an immediate response. Be sure to the let the clerk know which type of summons and complaint has been served on you. Failure to file a response may lead to a judgment being entered against you.

When are motions heard?

  • FAMILY LAW – Tuesdays at 1:30p.m. in Courtroom 2, unless the regular judge has been disqualified. Please call the court for the date and time if disqualification.
  • LIMITED/UNLIMITED CIVIL – Friday at 9:00a.m. in Courtroom 2, unless the regular judge has been disqualified. Please call the court for the date and time if disqualification.

When are Ex-Parte motions heard?

  • Courtroom 1: Monday through Friday at 11:30a.m.
  • Courtroom 3: Contact Court for available dates.

May I appear by telephone?

You may appear by telephone for case management conferences, trial setting conferences, and some civil and probate motions. For settlement conferences, small claims, family law motions, and trials, you must appear in person.

What is the difference between a minute order and transcript? How may I order a transcript?

A minute order is the clerk’s brief record of what took place in court. A transcript is the court reporter’s word-for-word record. You may contact the court reporter directly by mail or phone at (209) 754-9810. Costs and payment arrangements are made directly with the court reporter.

In which newspapers may I place a publication in Calaveras County?

You may use the Calaveras Enterprise (located in San Andreas) or the Daily News (located in Valley Springs).

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