I actually filed form CR-142 and then checked the box at 4 (a)( (2) which said I am NOT attaching my proposed statement. It goes on to say there that "I understand that I must serve and file this proposed statement in the trial court within 20 days of the date of the date I file the appeal..." BUT at the appeals court desk they said I had to wait until the Copy of the Official Electronic Recording was certified as delivered to the court, which happened on April 22nd and that form now ways I need to file an Opening Brief. Are they one in the same?
A: The electronic record is not the same thing as a Statement on Appeal. The electronic record contains whatever is in the court file. But, there is no transcription of the trial, because there was no court reporter (presumably). And, without the Statement on Appeal, there would be no facts upon which you can argue your case.
If less than 20 days has passed, you could file an amended CR-142 with a proposed statement. But, if the 20 days has passed, then you would have to file a motion in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court and ask for an order that you be permitted to submit a proposed statement to the trial court untimely ("instanter"). There is no statutory grounds for such a waiver, but you need those facts or you are toast -- because you won't have anything to argue in your brief, without the statement on appeal.
Also, regarding the opening brief and your earlier response, I was hoping you could refer me to a reference or a link that would guide me to the format of what the court would expect.
A: There isn't anything like this anywhere online. You're into the area of very costly legal treatises, and no one is going to give out the "keys to the kingdom" for free. Here are links to a couple of well-respected guides:
California Civil Appellate Practice
Civil Appeals and Writs (The Rutter Group California Practice Guide)
As you can see, a visit to the county public law library will save you a lot of money. I pay annual subscriptions for all of these materials, so I know how costly it all is. For someone who only needs to fight a single case, the cost is overwhelming.
You need to review the Appellate Division local rules, available from your county Superior Court Website. The rules will tell you what is required to file a motion and/or an opening brief. However, the rules won't tell you "how" to write a brief or a motion. For that, you will need those guides that I have identified (or something similar). Nothing else will do.
Here is a link to a sample opening brief for an Appellate Division. It will give you a template to follow.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.