What is a Motion to Vacate Default?

The court has broad discretion to vacate the entry of default, default judgment, or dismissal, but that discretion can be exercised only if the defendant establishes a proper ground for relief, by the proper procedure and within the set time limits. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 473(b).)

Legal Standard

“The court may, upon any terms as may be just, relieve a party or his or her legal representative from a judgment, dismissal, order, or other proceeding taken against him or her through his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.” (Code of Civ. Proc., § 473(b).) This section “is often applied liberally where the party in default moves promptly to seek relief, and the party opposing the motion will not suffer prejudice if relief is granted.” (Elston v. City of Turlock (1985) 38 Cal.3d 227, 233.)

“The rules pertaining to defaults and default judgments must be precisely followed to ensure that a defaulting defendant is aware of plaintiff’s claims.” (Grappo v. McMills (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 996, 1012.)

A default or default judgment is void if a defendant was not served with a summons in the manner prescribed by statute. (Sakaguchi v. Sakaguchi (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 852, 858; Ellard v. Conway (2001) 94 Cal.App.4th 540, 544.) “A judgment may be void on the face of the record or void for lack of proper service.” (Yeung v. Soos (2004) 119 Cal.App.4th 576, 582.)

Procedure

“Application for this relief shall be accompanied by a copy of the answer or other pleading proposed to be filed therein, otherwise the application shall not be granted, and shall be made within a reasonable time, in no case exceeding six months, after the judgment, dismissal, order, or proceeding was taken.” (Code of Civ. Proc., § 473(b).)

“This six-month time limitation is jurisdictional; the court has no power to grant relief under section 473 once the time has lapsed.” (Austin v. Los Angeles Unified School Dist. (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 918, 928.) The six-month limitation period for mandatory relief under CCP § 473(b) commences at time a default judgment is rendered, rather than earlier when a default is entered. (Sugasawara v. Newland (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 294.)

“The court shall, whenever an application for relief is made no more than six months after entry of judgment, is in proper form, and is accompanied by an attorney’s sworn affidavit attesting to his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect, vacate any

  1. resulting default entered by the clerk against his or her client, and which will result in entry of a default judgment, or
  2. resulting default judgment or dismissal entered against his or her client, unless the court finds that the default or dismissal was not in fact caused by the attorney’s mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect.”

(Code of Civ. Proc., § 473(b); English v. IKON Business Solutions (2001) 94 Cal.App.4th 130, 143.)

“[W]hat must be attested to is the mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect—not the reasons for it.” (Martin Potts & Associates, Inc. v. Corsair, LLC (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 432, 438.)

Useful Resources for Motion to Vacate Default

Recent Rulings on Motion to Vacate Default

1-25 of 10000 results

PRICE VS THE CITY OF ANAHEIM

Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction Provided that the City will stipulate to a preliminary injunction with respect to the provisions of Ordinance No. 6374 relating to immediate warrantless access to the short-term rental (STR) units, the Court DENIES the application for a preliminary injunction in all other respects, WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

  • Hearing

    Sep 29, 2030

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY VS. SANTA ANA RV STORAGE, L.P.

With respect to the first question, the Court concludes that Section 13.2(f) does not preclude SARVS from attempting to obtain compensation for any alleged loss of goodwill. Notably, nowhere in that section is there any reference to goodwill or any statement to the effect that any potential item of compensation not explicitly referenced therein is considered waived.

  • Hearing

    Apr 25, 2026

T-12 THREE, LLC VS. TURNER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

The motion is MOOT as to Issue 2, which seeks adjudication of the Third Cause of Action, which Plaintiffs dismissed as to Count 1, under the General Contract. [ROA 2604.] The Court’s analysis with respect to Saddleback’s motion directed to the contract claims applies equally to this motion. 4.

  • Hearing

    Apr 25, 2026

THE CITIES OF DUARTE VS STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD AND CITY OF GARDENA VS REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD

CAS004001, as amended on June 16, 2015 by State Board Order WQ 2015-0075, which is remanded to you for reconsideration in light of the Decision of this Court dated April 18, 2019. Nothing herein shall limit or control in any way the discretion legally vested in you. YOU ARE FURTHER COMMANDED to file with this Court a return to this writ on or before (90 plus 30 days as per Respondents’ request) stating what you have done to comply.

  • Hearing

    Jun 20, 2021

VELAZQUEZ VS KIA MOTORS AMERICA INC.

Plaintiff Francisco Velazquez’s Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice as to Kim D. Stephens, Gregory F. Coleman, Paul C. Peel, Jason T. Dennett and Adam A. Edwards The pro hac vice applications of Adam A. Edwards, Gregory Coleman, Jason T. Dennett, Kim D. Stephens, and Paul C. Peel do not address whether the applicants are: (1) regularly employed in the State of California or (2) regularly engaged in substantial business, professional, or other activities in the State of California. CRC, Rule 9.40(a)(2) and (3).

  • Hearing

    Jun 20, 2021

MALIN VS AMBRY GENETICS CORPORATION

Continued to 7-19-2019

  • Hearing

    Jun 20, 2021

LONG-HIM TANG, ET AL. VS PATRICIA PONCE DE LEON

Default was entered against Defendant on April 15, 2020. When a defendant has been served and no answer, demurrer, or certain motion has been filed within the time specified in the summons, the clerk shall enter the default of the defendant. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 585, subd. (b).) The court shall then render judgment in the plaintiff’s favor, not exceeding the amount stated in the statement of damages, as appears by the evidence to be just. (Ibid.)

  • Hearing

    Mar 26, 2021

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

TRANSPORT FUNDING, LLC, A LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY VS ERK LOGISTICS INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, ET AL.

In actions for money damages a default judgment is limited to the amount demanded in the complaint.(See Greenup v. Rodman (1986) 42 Cal.3d 822, 824.) Plaintiff’s request for interest and attorney’s fees against ERK must be reduced based on the $29,717.00 damages figure. ANALYSIS Yes (12/21/20) Default Entered. (JC Form CIV-100.)

  • Hearing

    Mar 24, 2021

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

AMERICAN EXPRESS NATIONAL BANK VS LUCILLE ROBINSON

Robinson (“Defendant”) and Does 1-10 for: Common Counts On January 22, 2021, Defendant’s default was entered. A Case Management Conference is set for March 18, 2021. Discussion Plaintiff’s Application for Default Judgment is GRANTED, contingent upon Plaintiff’s filing of a Request for Dismissal of Does 1-10.[1] ANALYSIS Yes (1/22/21) Default Entered. (JC Form CIV-100.)

  • Hearing

    Mar 18, 2021

  • Type

    Collections

  • Sub Type

    Promisory Note

I.L.W.U. CREDIT UNION VS JOHN SUA, ET AL.

Credit Union’s APPLICATION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT Tentative Ruling Plaintiff I.L.W.U. Credit Union’s Application for Default Judgment is DENIED without prejudice. Background Plaintiff I.L.W.U.

  • Hearing

    Mar 10, 2021

  • Type

    Collections

  • Sub Type

    Promisory Note

(NO CASE NAME AVAILABLE)

FILED: 08-21-20 CASE NUMBER: 20STCP02666 DEFAULT: 10-22-20 NOTICE: OK PROCEEDINGS: PETITION TO DECLARE MOBILEHOME ABANDONED MOVING PARTY: Petitioner A1 Trailer Park RESP. PARTY: None PETITION TO DECLARE MOBILEHOME ABANDONED (Civ. Code § 798.61) TENTATIVE RULING: Petitioner A1 Trailer Park’s Petitioner to Declare Mobilehome Abandoned is CONTINUED TO FEB 8, 2021 AT 11:00 A.M. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

  • Hearing

    Feb 28, 2021

STEPHANIE GREENE VS LINDA PENA ET AL

Default was entered as to Michael Pena on May 2, 2019. Default as to the Estate of Linda Pena was entered on August 14, 2019. Plaintiff seeks default judgment in the amount of $70,000 against Michael R. Pena and the Estate of Linda Pena. The application is deficient in several ways. First, there is no Judicial Council Form CIV-100 requesting a default judgment.

  • Hearing

    Feb 16, 2021

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Products Liability

(NO CASE NAME AVAILABLE)

(“Defendant”) and Does 1-25 for: Unlawful Detainer On December 5, 2019, Defendant’s default was entered; that day, a clerk’s default judgment for possession only was filed. A Case Management Conference and an Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to Proceed with Default Judgment are set for January 14, 2021.

  • Hearing

    Feb 16, 2021

717 NOGALES, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY VS NEW DIAMOND TRUCKING, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION AND, ET AL.

An Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to Proceed with Default Judgment is set for February 11, 2021. Discussion Plaintiff’s Application for Default Judgment is DENIED without prejudice.

  • Hearing

    Feb 11, 2021

EARL BULL ET AL VS SUPERIOR MOBILITY INC ET AL

Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Compelling Cross-Complainant Pride Mobility Products Corporation's Further Responses to Cross-Complainant/Cross-Defendant Superior Mobility, Inc.'s Special Interrogatories, (Set 3) scheduled for 02/11/2021 are continued to 02/16/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 29 at Spring Street Courthouse. The Moving Party is ordered to give notice.

  • Hearing

    Feb 11, 2021

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Products Liability

RICHARD WALTERS, ET AL. VS VASSAL BENFORD, ET AL.

TENTATIVE RULING 2/10/2021 WALTERS V BENFORD/LC084069 MOTION TO AMEND JUDGMENT The motion is DENIED. A wife cannot be added to a judgment rendered against her husband in an action in which she was not named and had no opportunity to defend.

  • Hearing

    Feb 10, 2021

(NO CASE NAME AVAILABLE)

(“Defendant”) and Does 1-25 for: Unlawful Detainer On December 5, 2019, Defendant’s default was entered; that day, a clerk’s default judgment for possession only was filed. A Case Management Conference and an Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to Proceed with Default Judgment are set for January 14, 2021.

  • Hearing

    Feb 06, 2021

WITHY, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION VS EUN M. LIN, INC., ET AL.

.: 20STCV42099 ORDER RE: DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT; MOTION TO STRIKE Date: February 5, 2021 Time: 8:30 a.m. Dept. 56 On the Court’s own motion, the Court continues the hearings on the: (1) the demurrer to Plaintiff’s complaint; and (2) the motion to strike portions of Plaintiff’s complaint, filed by Defendants Eun M. Lin, Inc. and Anthony Lin, scheduled for 2/5/2021 at 8:30 a.m. at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Department 56 to 2/11/2021 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 56.

  • Hearing

    Feb 05, 2021

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA VS. RX UNLIMITED,LLC ETAL

.: BC670620 ORDER RE: MOTION TO STAY CIVIL DISCOVERY AS TO CERTAIN DEFENDANTS Date: February 5, 2021 Time: 8:30 a.m. Dept. 56 On the Court’s own motion, the Court continues the hearing on the motion for an order staying civil discovery[1], filed by Defendants Rx Unlimited LLC, Brian Goldstein, and Clifton Braddy, scheduled for 2/5/2021 at 8:30 a.m. at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Department 56 to 2/17/2021 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 56. Moving parties are ordered to give notice of this ruling.

  • Hearing

    Feb 05, 2021

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

UNIVERSITY OF LA VERNE VS YOUNG ACTORS CAMP, ET AL.

Rodriguez’s default was entered. An Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to Proceed with Default Judgment is set for February 4, 2021. Discussion Plaintiff’s Application for Default Judgment is DENIED without prejudice. The following defects are noted: The account statement attached as Exhibit A to Xochitl Martinez’s declaration identifies the “Student’s Name” as “Inspire Me, Inc dba Young Actors Camp, Inspire.”

  • Hearing

    Feb 04, 2021

  • Type

    Collections

  • Sub Type

    Promisory Note

V. L., ET AL. VS EVAN CARTER, ET AL.

Judicial Assistant is directed to give notice to Plaintiff, who upon receipt of this notice, is ordered to give notice to all parties of record.

  • Hearing

    Feb 04, 2021

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

DAVID ANGUIANO VS CONNECT STAFFING, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, ET AL.

.: 20STCV21657 [TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION TO VACATE ORDER OF DISMISSAL Date: February 4, 2021 Time: 8:30 a.m. Dept. 56 MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff David Anguiano The Court has considered the moving papers. No opposition papers were filed. BACKGROUND Plaintiff filed a motion (the “Motion”) for an order vacating the order of dismissal that was entered in this case on November 3, 2020[1]. The Motion is unopposed, and the Court therefore GRANTS the Motion under Sexton v.

  • Hearing

    Feb 04, 2021

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

JOSE SALAZAR VS JOSE L MUNIZ

TENTATIVE RULING MSJ BY PLAINTIFF JOSE SALAZAR 19VECV01453 HEARING DATE 2/4/2021 MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS DENIED. THERE ARE TRIABLE ISSUES OF MATERIAL FACT TO BE DETERMINED BY THE TRIER OF FACT WHICH PREVENT ENTRY OF JUDGMENT FOR PLAINTIFF. IT IS NOTED THAT THERE WAS NO TIMELY OPPOSITION FILED TO THE MSJ. REGARDLESS OF THE ABSENCE OF AN OPPOSITION, THE MOTION IS NOT “AUTOMATICALLY” GRANTED.

  • Hearing

    Feb 04, 2021

JOSE SALAZAR VS JOSE L MUNIZ

TENTATIVE RULING MSJ BY PLAINTIFF JOSE SALAZAR 19VECV01453 HEARING DATE 2/4/2021 MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS DENIED. THERE ARE TRIABLE ISSUES OF MATERIAL FACT TO BE DETERMINED BY THE TRIER OF FACT WHICH PREVENT ENTRY OF JUDGMENT FOR PLAINTIFF. FIRST, IT IS NOTED THAT THERE WAS NO TIMELY OPPOSITION FILED TO THE MSJ. REGARDLESS OF THE ABSENCE OF AN OPPOSITION, THE MOTION IS NOT “AUTOMATICALLY” GRANTED.

  • Hearing

    Feb 04, 2021

V. L., ET AL. VS EVAN CARTER, ET AL.

Judicial Assistant is directed to give notice to Plaintiff, who upon receipt of this notice, is ordered to give notice to all parties of record.

  • Hearing

    Feb 04, 2021

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

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