As used in this title, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) “Litigation” means any civil action or proceeding, commenced, maintained or pending in any state or federal court.

Terms Used In California Code of Civil Procedure 391

  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Defendant: means a person (including corporation, association, partnership and firm or governmental entity) against whom a litigation is brought or maintained or sought to be brought or maintained. See California Code of Civil Procedure 391
  • Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
  • Litigation: means any civil action or proceeding, commenced, maintained or pending in any state or federal court. See California Code of Civil Procedure 391
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • Person: includes a corporation as well as a natural person. See California Code of Civil Procedure 17
  • Pleadings: Written statements of the parties in a civil case of their positions. In the federal courts, the principal pleadings are the complaint and the answer.
  • State: includes the District of Columbia and the territories when applied to the different parts of the United States, and the words "United States" may include the district and territories. See California Code of Civil Procedure 17
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Vexatious litigant: means a person who does any of the following:

    California Code of Civil Procedure 391

(b) “Vexatious litigant” means a person who does any of the following:

(1) In the immediately preceding seven-year period has commenced, prosecuted, or maintained in propria persona at least five litigations other than in a small claims court that have been (i) finally determined adversely to the person or (ii) unjustifiably permitted to remain pending at least two years without having been brought to trial or hearing.

(2) After a litigation has been finally determined against the person, repeatedly relitigates or attempts to relitigate, in propria persona, either (i) the validity of the determination against the same defendant or defendants as to whom the litigation was finally determined or (ii) the cause of action, claim, controversy, or any of the issues of fact or law, determined or concluded by the final determination against the same defendant or defendants as to whom the litigation was finally determined.

(3) In any litigation while acting in propria persona, repeatedly files unmeritorious motions, pleadings, or other papers, conducts unnecessary discovery, or engages in other tactics that are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay.

(4) Has previously been declared to be a vexatious litigant by any state or federal court of record in any action or proceeding based upon the same or substantially similar facts, transaction, or occurrence.

(c) “Security” means an undertaking to assure payment, to the party for whose benefit the undertaking is required to be furnished, of the party’s reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees and not limited to taxable costs, incurred in or in connection with a litigation instituted, caused to be instituted, or maintained or caused to be maintained by a vexatious litigant.

(d) “Plaintiff” means the person who commences, institutes or maintains a litigation or causes it to be commenced, instituted or maintained, including an attorney at law acting in propria persona.

(e) “Defendant” means a person (including corporation, association, partnership and firm or governmental entity) against whom a litigation is brought or maintained or sought to be brought or maintained.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 587, Sec. 3.5. Effective January 1, 1995.)