What is the statute of limitations for Motion 664.6 in California? 3 Answers as of January 12, 2011

What is the statute of limitations for Motion 664.6? From everything I have read - and I am not sure if it applies to child support modification or not - (the statute of limitations applies - not if Motion 664.6 works for enforcing agreed upon settlements - I know that it does - although, I think it does - and I could be wrong!). Anyhow, from what I have read about Motion 664.6, it is a 2 years statute for a verbal agreement and a 4 yr statute of Limitations for written agreements. When does the statute of limitations begin? When the agreement was agreed upon? OR do the limitations begin the year the other party did not uphold the agreement? This is for the state of California.

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Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Code of Civil Procedure Section 664.6 applies only to agreements entered during a "pending action". If there was no pending action at the time the agreement was entered, CCP 664.6 is not applicable.

If parties to a pending action stipulate orally on the record in the court in which the action is pending, to settlement or partial settlement of the pending litigation, or if they enter into a written stipulation for settlement or partial settlement of the pending litigation, CCP Section 664.6 allows the Court, on Motion of a party, to enter Judgment pursuant to the terms of the settlement, and if requested by the parties, the Court may retain jurisdiction over the parties to enforce the settlement until performance in full of the terms of the settlement.

If the settlement stipulation were in writing, the 4-year Statute of Limitations of CCP Section 337 would begin to run from the date of entry into the written stipulation.

If the settlement stipulation were orally made in Court, it would seem that a 2-year Statute of Limitations of CCP Section 336 would begin to run from the date of that oral stipulation. However, in the civil case of PIETROBAN v. LIBARLE (2006) 137 CA4th 992, an Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's holding (made under unusual circumstances) that because the oral settlement agreement in that case had been reduced to writing that accurately set forth the agreement [in a manner not described in the court's opinion - perhaps in the minute order of the court, or perhaps in the court reporter's transcript, or otherwise - we don't know], the writing did not need to be signed in order to fall within the scope of the 4-year statute of limitations for breach of a written agreement. The unusual facts of that case included testimony by the party sought to be charged, admitting the making of the agreement on the court record in the enforcement proceeding.

Whether such an admission at enforcement proceedings is needed to extend the statute of limitations to 4 years remains unanswered. Best to file your Motion under 664.6 within 2 years of the oral agreement made on the record.

Code of Civil Procedure Section 583.310 provides that the time limit for bringing an action to trial is five (5) years (unless extended by written stipulation or oral stipulation in Court; and the 5-year limit does not apply if there is an existing order for Child or Spousal Support). In the PIETROBAN case, under the particular local court rules which required dismissal within 45 days of settlement, the initial case was dismissed, so the Plaintiff in that case had to file a separatecivil lawsuit in an effort to enforce the agreement.

If a Divorce case isn't resolved by the time the Court dismisses the case, the Divorce case can't be subsequently revived to allow a 664.6 Motion. However, under the philosophy of the PIETROBAN case, it may be possible (but certainly not guaranteed) that a civil action to enforce the oral stipulation, filed within 4 years of the oral stipulation, may workto enforce the oral stipulationif the Divorce case is dismissed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/12/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
There is no statute of limitation for past due child support.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/12/2011
Goldberg Jones
Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
The motion is to enforce an agreement and to create a Judgment. If you are still in pending litigation you can bring the motion. If you have completed the litigation and finalized the case with a Judgment, there is no motion to bring. You should call a lawyer for a free phone consultation and figure out what to do.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/12/2011
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