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Was Judgment Entered Against You? Make a Motion to Set it Aside Immediately!

Cfemale-judge-gavelalifornia Courts grant judgments in favor of plaintiffs and defendants every single day.  However, often times, errors are made and improper judgments are granted.  There are many different situations in which improper judgment may arise.   For example, a court that renders judgment may not have had proper jurisdiction in the first place.  In another case, the party whom judgment was rendered against may not have been given proper notice of the action.  In yet another case, even when the parties enter into a stipulated judgment, that same judgment may later prove to be unsuitable, unfair, or enter into based on fraudulent information.  In either case, once a final judgment is obtained, parties have options to seek an alternate resolution.  Depending on the circumstances, one option is to file a motion to set aside the judgment.

Under California law, a party has the ability to have an order or judgment set aside. Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP) § 473, “the court may, upon any terms as may be just, relieve a party…from a judgment.” An application to set aside a judgment under CCP § 473 must be made within a “reasonable time” and in no case may exceed six months.  Relief from a judgment is available under CCP § 473 (within 6 months from judgment) for mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect.

During the period when relief under section 473 is available, there is a strong public policy in favor of granting relief and allowing the requesting party his or her day in court.  Beyond this period, there is a strong public policy in favor of the finality of judgments and only in exceptional circumstances should relief be granted. Marriage of Kieturakis (2006) 138 Cal. App. 4th 56.  Therefore, it is extremely important to contact an experienced litigation attorney early to ensure you retain the opportunity to set aside an improper judgment.

Contact Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today by calling 714-406-4397 to schedule your appointment or email us at

Brown & Charbonneau’s litigation attorneys are ready to help you.