CALIFORNIA RULES OF COURT
CRC Rule 3.1332 Motion or application for continuance of trial
(a) Trial dates are firm
To ensure the prompt disposition of civil cases, the dates assigned for
a trial are firm. All parties and their counsel must regard the date set
for trial as certain.
(b) Motion oir application
A party seeking a continuance of the date set for trial, whether contested
or uncontested or stipulated to by the parties, must make the request
for a continuance by a noticed motion or an ex parte application under
the rules in chapter 4 of this division, with supporting declarations.
The party must make the motion or application as soon as reasonably practical
once the necessity for the continuance is discovered.
(c) Grounds for continuance
Although continuances of trials are disfavored, each request for a continuance
must be considered on its own merits. The court may grant a continuance
only on an affirmative showing of good cause requiring the continuance.
Circumstances that may indicate good cause include:
(1) The unavailability of an essential lay or expert witness because of
death, illness, or other excusable circumstances;
(2) The unavailability of a party because of death, illness, or other excusable
(3) The unavailability of trial counsel because of death, illness, or other
(4) The substitution of trial counsel, but only where there is an affirmative
showing that the substitution is required in the interests of justice;
(5) The addition of a new party if:
(A) The new party has not had a reasonable opportunity to conduct discovery
and prepare for trial,; or
(B) The other parties have not had a reasonable opportunity to conduct
discovery and prepare for trial in regard to the new party's involvement
in the case;
(6) A party's excused inability to obtain essential testimony, documents,
or other material evidence despite diligent efforts; or
(7) A significant, unanticipated change in the status of the case as a
result of which the case is not ready for trial.
(d) Other factors to be considered
In ruling on a motion or application for continuance, the court must consider
all the facts and circumstances that are relevant to the determination.
These may include:
(1) The proximity of the trial date;
(2) Whether there was any previous continuance, extension of time, or delay
of trial due to any party;
(3) The length of the continuance requested;
(4) The availability of alternative means to address the problem that gave
rise to the motion or application for a continuance;
(5) The prejudice that parties or witnesses will suffer as a result of
(6) If the case is entitled to a preferential trial setting, the reasons
for that status and whether the need for a continuance outweighs the need
to avoid delay;
(7) The court's calendar and the impact of granting a continuance on
other pending trials;
(8) Whether trial counsel is engaged in another trial;
(9) Whether all parties have stipulated to a continuance;
(10) Whether the interests of justice are best served by a continuance,
by the trial of the matter, or by imposing conditions on the continuance; and
(11) Any other fact or circumstance relevant to the fair determination
of the motion or application.