January 19, 2017

Trial court has jurisdiction to consider late-filed new trial motion papers

In Kabran v. Sharp Memorial Hospital, the Supreme Court today holds that a trial court does not lose jurisdiction to consider affidavits that were filed after a statutory deadline for submitting papers in support of a new trial motion, where the non-moving party did not object in the trial court to the affidavits’ timeliness.  Finding that “jurisdictional rules are mandatory, but mandatory rules are not necessarily jurisdictional,” the court’s unanimous opinion by Justice Goodwin Liu concludes that the new trial motion statute “does not deprive a court of fundamental jurisdiction to consider affidavits submitted after the 30-day deadline set forth in the statute.”

The court affirms the Fourth District, Division One, Court of Appeal, and it disapproves a 1996 Third District opinion.

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