Legal Memorandum: Permitting Supplemental Complaints in CA

Issue: Under California law, what standard is applied when a trial court examines a supplemental complaint to determine whether it should be permitted?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Supplemental complaint; Permitting or allowing; Standard
Jurisdiction: California
Cited Cases: 132 P. 833; 94 P. 389; 59 P.2d 978; 93 Cal. App. 2d 849; 210 P.2d 62; 7 Cal. App. 324; 150 P.2d 278; 122 Cal. App. 3d 270; 275 P.2d 121
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 02/01/2001

           Earp v. Nobmann (1981), 122 Cal. App. 3d 270, 175 Cal. Rptr. 767, was a breach of contract and specific performance action involving a real estate transfer.  The cross-complaint sought at first declaratory relief and damages based on disparagement of title due to the allegedly improper filing of a lis pendens notice.  122 Cal. App. 3d at 280-81, 286.  Subsequently the lis pendens notice was expunged, but the plaintiff cross-defendant wrote the prospective buyers "to inform them that although the lis pendens had been expunged Earp still contended that he had an interest in the ranch and that any purchase completed by 6_B with funds derived from a loan from the land bank would be subject to that interest.  As a result Harbor remained unable to procure title insurance, and 6_B was unable to procure a loan and the purchase was not completed."  Id. at 281.  At the trial, the cross-complainant moved to amend to conform to proof, and the motion was granted.  However, the court of appeal reversed because the interference occurred subsequent to filing:

The cross-complaint, whether original or amended, can properly speak only of things which occurred either before or concurrently with the commencement of the action.  Matters which occur after the date of the complaint (or in this case cross-complaint) must be brought into […]

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