Filing a peremptory challenge in California is the topic of this blog post.
Peremptory challenges in California are authorized by Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6 and are used to disqualify a judge, court commissioner, or court referee whom an attorney or party has reason to believe is prejudiced against them or their interests.
Any peremptory challenge must be filed and served within the time limits specified in section 170.6 and unless an exception applies only one peremptory challenge may be filed by any attorney or party pursuant to section 170.6. Filing a peremptory challenge against a judicial officer is often referred to in the legal profession as “dinging” or “papering” a judge.
A careful reading of section 170.6 is essential as there are various time limits that may apply. Readers of this blog post can view the entire text of Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6 by clicking on the link shown below.
Failing to timely file peremptory challenge may result in an attorney or party having to have their trial or hearing heard by a judicial officer whom they feel is prejudiced against them or their interests. Attorneys or parties involved in litigation in California should attempt to determine which judicial officers have a bad reputation in the legal community and are challenged on a regular basis.
Note that a California Court of Appeal has stated that the time to file a Section 170.6 challenge does not commence when defendant makes a special appearance to contest the court's jurisdiction such as a motion to quash service of a summons but instead begins only when a defendant makes their first general appearance in the action. A defendant has the option to peremptorily challenge the judge scheduled to hear the motion to quash but a defendant is not required to do so.
Some of the larger counties in California have a local form which can be used for the peremptory challenge. However, smaller counties may not have any local form so the author has prepared a sample form for use in any county in California that can be viewed and downloaded below.
Attorneys or parties in California that would like to view or download a FREE sample peremptory challenge under Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6 created by the author can use the link shown below.
The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for sale.
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Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.
The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.