JNOV Motion Time Period in California
The time to file a Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict (JNOV) or new trial motion is jurisdictional. (Palmer v. GTE California, Inc. (2003) 30 Cal.4th 1265, 1271.)
If such a motion is untimely, the court has no jurisdiction to rule on it and the order granting the motion is void. (Ruiz v. Ruiz (1980) 104 Cal.App.3d 374, 379; Douglas v. Janis (1974) 43 Cal.App.3d 931, 935-936.)
A JNOV motion must be made within the time period specified for the filing and serving of a new trial motion under section 659. Subdivision (a) of section 659 provides the following:
"The party intending to move for a new trial shall file with the clerk and serve upon each adverse party a notice of his or her intention to move for a new trial ... ... ... within 15 days of the date of mailing notice of entry of judgment by the clerk of the court pursuant to Section 664.5 ... ."
Service by mail must be made in strict compliance with the mandates of sections 1013 and 1013a. (Lee v. Placer Title Co. (1994) 28 Cal.App.4th 503, 509; Dobrick v. Hathaway (1984) 160 Cal.App.3d 913, 921.)
Section 1013 provides that for service by mail, the correspondence must be "deposited in a post office, mailbox, subpost office, substation, or mail chute, or other like facility regularly maintained by the USPS, in a sealed envelope, with postage paid, addressed to the person on whom it is to be served" and that "service is complete at the time of the deposit ... ."
Section 1013a sets forth three methods for a party to prove service by mail. All three subdivisions require an affidavit or certificate "setting forth the exact title of the document served and filed in the cause" and "showing the name and residence or business address of the person making the service." ( 1013a, subds. (1), (2) & (3).) Subdivisions (1) and (2) set forth the method for service where the declarant actually puts the correspondence in a mailbox or takes it to the post office. Under subdivision (1), the declarant must state "he or she is a resident of or employed in the county where the mailing occurs" and "that he or she is over the age of 18 years and not a party to the cause." Under subdivision (2), the declarant must state "he or she is an active member of the State Bar of California and is not a party to the cause." Subdivisions (1) and (2) also require the declarant "show the date and place of deposit in the mail, the name and address of the person served as shown on the envelope" and "that the envelope was sealed and deposited in the mail with the postage thereon fully prepaid."
Subdivision (3) applies where the correspondence is placed in an outgoing mail bin from which it is picked up and combined with other correspondence for mailing that day. Under subdivision (3), the declarant must state that he or she is over the age of 18 years and not a party to the cause; he or she is readily familiar with the business' practice for collection and processing of correspondence for mailing with the USPS; that the correspondence would be deposited with the USPS that same day in the ordinary course of business; the name and address of the person served as shown on the envelope; the date and place of business where the correspondence was placed for deposit in the USPS; and that the envelope was sealed and placed for collection and mailing on that date following ordinary business practices. Critically, service under subdivision (3) "upon motion of a party served, shall be presumed invalid if the postal cancellation date or postage meter date on the envelope is more than one day after the date of deposit for mailing contained in the affidavit."