Mandatory and Optional use of California Judicial Council Forms

March 27, 2024 | By Doppelt and Forney
Mandatory and Optional use of California Judicial Council Forms

California Judicial Council Forms are pre approved pleadings for filing with the Court. In a legal separation, divorce or paternity case in San Diego Superior Court, there are pre approved pleadings available and a link is below for your ease of use for family law cases in San Diego but there are all forms from this link as this link is to the California Courts website directly.

Some of the forms are fillable and make sure to close and not save and follow their procedures so your information is limited to your case. Below is a link to the San Diego Superior Court website which has judicial council forms as well for family law and other areas of the law.

What Is The Difference Between A Mandatory Form And An Optional Form And How Can You Tell?

It is the author’s opinion that, if a Judicial Council Form is available, then this form should be used. This will help minimize rejections due to the Form itself. For many motions and hearings, there are strict deadlines for filing and/or service and/or response. Having a pleading rejected due to form is procedural only however can have a negative substantive effect on the case. There are some forms which are not on a Judicial Council Form and then these can be prepared in accord with the Local Rules of Court and others. California Rules of Court [Rule 1.30] specifies which forms are mandatory. The link to the California courts website is below for your ease of use.

California Rules of Court [Rule 1.35] regards forms which are optional. To tell if a Judicial Council Form is optional or mandatory, look in the lower left corner of the first page.

Mandatory forms will state:
Form adopted for mandatory use

Optional forms will state:
Form adopted for optional use

There are many publishers of Judicial Council Forms including Essential Forms, Essential Publishers, CJC Forms and others. All form publishers must comply with placing whether mandatory or optional.

How Can A Local Law Firm Help?

The law firm of Doppelt and Forney, APLC has an official approved Judicial Council Forms software program which is current and up to date. This helps to insure that rejections of pleadings are not due to outdated forms. As the Judicial Council updates forms during the year, it is very important to have the current forms available.

In addition, many of the forms programs will allow information to “translate” from form to form. This can save a lot of time as caption of the court and case name and other information will automatically be inserted into all Judicial Council Forms used in the same case. The law office also has optional forms which have been used successfully in past cases as well. Please feel free to call for a confidential and free in-person or virtual consultation up to thirty minutes.