California Civil Procedure Code
As used in this chapter, unless the provision or context otherwise requires:
(a) "Action" includes an action commenced by cross-complaint or other pleading that asserts a cause of action or claim for relief.
(b) "Complaint" includes a cross-complaint or other initial pleading.
(c) "Court" means the court in which the action is pending.
(d) "Defendant" includes a cross-defendant or other person against whom an action is commenced.
(e) "Plaintiff" includes a cross-complainant or other person by whom an action is commenced.
(f) "Service" includes return of summons.
(a) This chapter applies to a civil action and does not apply to a special proceeding except to the extent incorporated by reference in the special proceeding.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the court may, by rule or otherwise under inherent authority of the court, apply this chapter to a special proceeding or part of a special proceeding except to the extent such application would be inconsistent with the character of the special proceeding or the statute governing the special proceeding.
It is the policy of the state that a plaintiff shall proceed with reasonable diligence in the prosecution of an action but that all parties shall cooperate in bringing the action to trial or other disposition. Except as otherwise provided by statute or by rule of court adopted pursuant to statute, the policy favoring the right of parties to make stipulations in their own interests and the policy favoring trial or other disposition of an action on the merits are generally to be preferred over the policy that requires dismissal for failure to proceed with reasonable diligence in the prosecution of an action in construing the provisions of this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter abrogates or otherwise affects the principles of waiver and estoppel.
This chapter does not limit or affect the authority of a court to dismiss an action or impose other sanctions under a rule adopted by the court pursuant to Section 575.1 or by the Judicial Council pursuant to statute, or otherwise under inherent authority of the court.
This chapter applies to a motion for dismissal made in an action commenced before, on, or after the effective date of this chapter, except that in the case of an action commenced before the effective date of this chapter:
(a) A motion for dismissal made pursuant to notice given before, on, or within one year after the effective date of this chapter is governed by the applicable law in effect immediately before the effective date and for this purpose the law in effect immediately before the effective date continues in effect.
(b) This chapter does not affect an order dismissing an action made before the effective date of this chapter.
No petition filed pursuant to Section 2330 of the Family Code shall be dismissed pursuant to this chapter if any of the following conditions exist:
(a) An order for child support has been issued in connection with the proceeding and the order has not been (1) terminated by the court or (2) terminated by operation of law pursuant to Sections 3900, 3901, 4007, and 4013 of the Family Code.
(b) An order for spousal support has been issued in connection with the proceeding and the order has not been terminated by the court.
(c) The petition is for dissolution of the marriage and a separate trial on the issue of the status of the marriage has been conducted pursuant to Section 2337 of the Family Code.