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Matthew Bender Practice Guide: Federal Pretrial Civil Procedure in California
Kendall, Seeborg, Shartsis, Smith
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

1-6 MB Practice Guide: Fed Pretrial Civ Proc in CA 6.syn


Drafting the Summons and Complaint


Richard Kendall;Richard Seeborg;Mary Jo Shartsis;Fern M. Smith

Chapter Summary


The complaint is the pleading by which a party who initiates a civil action seeks affirmative relief. The summons is essentially an order, issued by the clerk of the court, summoning the defendant to appear in the case and respond to the complaint. The summons, which must be prepared by the plaintiff, sets forth the time for responding and includes a warning that a failure to respond will result in the entry of a default judgment against the defendant.

This chapter discusses the drafting of the summons and complaint. The chapter provides checklists for drafting summons, complaints, and other documents. It also explains the format requirements and local practice of each district. The chapter includes several sample forms, including: sample format of complaint; statement of supplemental jurisdiction; statement of claim based on state law; statement of claim based on federal statute; summons; and local district court forms.

Matthew Bender Practice Guide: Federal Pretrial Civil Procedure in California (Matthew Bender) guides attorneys through the pretrial process, from determining where to file a case to immediately before trial. It offers extensive coverage of local rules, checklists, forms, and cross-references to relevant content such as Moore's Federal Practice.


federal pretrial civil procedure,California,summons,complaint,format


See also Chapter 7 Service of Summons and Chapter 5 Formatting, Serving, and Filing Papers.


See California Federal Civil Rules with Local Practice Commentary (Matthew Bender) for analysis on the local rules for each of the four California federal district courts, as well as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

See Moore's AnswerGuide Federal Pretrial Civil Litigation (Matthew Bender) for answers to basic questions about federal pretrial practice and procedure, from forum selection, through pleading, discovery, and pretrial motions.

See Federal Litigation Guide (Matthew Bender) for coverage of federal civil procedure from the filing of the complaint through trial and appeal.
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