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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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What is the law (rule of court or CCP) that says once a

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What is the law (rule of court or CCP) that says once a complaint or answer is amended the original is moot EVEN IF NOT SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT from the first complaint?


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

What state are you in? Is your case in state or federal court?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think it's state court Alameda county? California.

Thank you. Let me go find the rule for you, and I'll be back in a few minutes.

There's noting in the Code of Civil Procedure that explicitly says that. What are you trying to accomplish?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is a hearing on Motion for Summary judgment in an Unlawful Detainer case. Defendant used an "eviction prevention service" to answer the original complaint but that answer agreed with everything despite that not being true which allowed MSJ to be filed. It was granted in error (defendant not allowed to give evidence at hearing) and was vacated and set for a "re-hearing". To reinstate actions dismissed upon granted MSJ, plaintiff filed First Amended Complaint with no substantial difference from the first. Defendant Answered this amended complaint with a true answer denying all allegations. Does either their First Amended Complaint (same as first but filed to reinstate actions dismissed) or the Answer to it (substantially different from first answer to original complaint) render the original complaint or answer moot?

The Amended Complaint replaces the original Complaint - that's why it's filed as a separate document. The Answer to the Amended Complaint replaces the original answer. Neither the original Complaint nor the original Answer is of any effect once an Amended Complaint is filed. The judge isn't going to look at the information in those documents when deciding the case.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Plaintiff argues that because Amended isn't "substantially different" it should be considered and judge allowed them to file it specifically for reinstating a dismissed action. Because the hearing is a "reset hearing", i.e. just being heard again b/c procedural mistake, does it have to rely on original complaint & answer or on new amended complaint and answer to it? What is the law, rule of court, or CCP which states this?

The CCP don't address this. It's not the type of thing the Legislature would think to codify, because it's inherent in what an amended complaint IS. There would be no point in filing an Amended Complaint if it didn't replace the original. But the closest CCP section would be 471.5, which says that a party can file a copy of the amendments, but the judge may require them to file an entire new document instead.

Also, since the judge entered Summary Judgment on the original complaint, I don't see how they can argue that the original Complaint is still in effect.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Summary Judgement was vacated and a new hearing ordered but because they'd dismissed a cause of action (after being granted MSJ) they wanted to reinstate that action. This was the Only reason for filing Amended Complaint and amended complaint was exactly same as first (except word "amended"). However, Defendant answered Amended Complaint with answer very substantially different than original answer. Does the new answer make old one moot, or in the "re-hearing" will original answer be used?

The Amended Answer replaces the first one, even though the Amended Complaint was identical.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about if answer to amended complaint was simply filed as "answer to amended complaint" not as "amended answer"? Would it still supersede original answer?

Yes. It's two names for the same document.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, and there's no law, rule of court, or CCP stating amended or answer to amended must supersede original?

There's no rule of court or CCP. Again, that's inherent in what an Amended Complaint is. I've never seen someone file an Amended Complaint, then argue that the first one still was in effect, and I don't think it occurred to the Legislature that someone might.

Extensive case law research is beyond the scope of this site. I managed to find a third circuit court of appeals case, but that's not California, so you could look at some of the arguments, but it's not binding authority.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok great, I'll have a look. Thanks so much for your help!

You're welcome. Good luck.

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Lucy, Esq. and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will do, Thanks again!