Writ Basics: Part 2

If writs confuse you, you are not alone. If you missed last month’s newsletter, Writs: Part 1, click here for a copy and review: What exactly is a writ, when does the Court of Appeal generally issue writ relief and how can you increase your odds of success?

This month I offer you a free gift – my California writ checklist. Checklists have become standard for pilots, surgeons, and other professions where an inadvertent omission may have severe consequences. So too, with writs, the omission of a necessary section of the petition will cause the Court of Appeal to summarily deny relief. You can access and download the checklist here.

The writ petition requires inclusion of several items:

  • the petition itself
  • verification
  • memorandum of points and authorities
  • exhibits
  • certificate of interested parties
  • a certificate of word count
  • and any applicable filing fee

Make sure any protected information is redacted or, if necessary, filed under seal.

The accompanying exhibits must include either a reporter’s transcript of the hearing that led to the challenged ruling, or, if the transcript is unavailable, a declaration from counsel that fairly summarizes what happened at the hearing or that states the transcript has been ordered and when it will be available.

Note on New Filing in the State of California

As of March 2020, the California Supreme Court implemented mandatory electronic filing (for all but a narrow category of pro per individuals and those who have been excused from the requirements under local rules) through its platform TrueFiling. Because of this, it is important to familiarize yourself with the Court Rules governing electronic formatting, including bookmarking, using searchable-text, consecutive page numbering, electronic signatures, and more. (See Cal. Rules of Court, Rules 8.70 et seq.). The Court of Appeal website is a helpful free resource containing samples, templates, rules, instructions, etc.


Janet Gusdorff

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