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Sacramento County Public Law Library

&Civil Self-Help Center


609 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 874-6012
www.saclaw.org

NOTICE OF AUTOMATIC STAY

Halting a Lawsuit by Filing Bankruptcy


Disclaimer: This guide is intended as general information only. Your case may have factors
requiring different procedures or forms. The information and instructions are provided for
use in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Please keep in mind that each court may
have different requirements. If you need further assistance, consult a lawyer.
This guide assumes you have already started your bankruptcy case, and that the creditor
who is now suing you is listed in the Petition. If not, consult the law library or an attorney for
information about petitioning for bankruptcy or amending the petition.
CONTENTS
This packet includes:
Notice of Stay of Proceedings (CM-180) (sample)
Copy of filed Petition for Bankruptcy (sample)
Proof of Service (POS-030) (sample)
Customizable versions of the Notice of Stay of Proceedings (CM-180) and POS-030
Proof of Service (POS-030) are available at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/.
BACKGROUND
Filing for bankruptcy immediately stops all attempts to collect debts included in the
bankruptcy from you, including lawsuits. This is known as the automatic stay.
Perhaps you have been sued, and are planning to file for bankruptcy. Or maybe you are
already in bankruptcy, and you have received a Summons and Complaint. Either way,
you need to let the plaintiff and the superior court know about the bankruptcy so the
state case is put on hold. The federal court trumps the state court, but the only way the
state court will know about the bankruptcy and stay is if you file CM-180 and POS-030.
This guide explains the process and contains a sample of the Notice of Stay of
Proceedings (CM-180).

PROCEDURE
Overview
You will need a copy of the first page of your Petition for Bankruptcy (or other document
showing that the stay is in effect and showing the court, case number, debtor, and
petitioners) stamped by the court and showing your case number. Using the information
from your bankruptcy case, fill out the Notice of Stay of Proceedings (CM-180), attach a
copy of the Petition for Bankruptcy, and file and serve it in the state court. If you have
not yet responded to the state court case, you may want to file an Answer along with
this notice to protect yourself in case the bankruptcy is dismissed.
Step-by-Step Instructions
Step 1: Download the Notice of Stay of Proceedings (CM-180) and fill it out. Use the
information from your bankruptcy case to customize it to fit your circumstances.
Customizable versions of the Notice of Stay of Proceedings (CM-180) and POS-030
Proof of Service (POS-030) are available at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/.
Step 2: Attach a file-stamped copy of the first page of Petition for Bankruptcy, showing
the date you filed and the bankruptcy case number.
Step 3: If you have not already filed a response (answer) in the state lawsuit, prepare a
response. Consult the law library or an attorney for more information about this step.
If you are a Sacramento County resident, our Civil Self-Help Center may be able to
assist you with preparing the response. For more information, see our Civil Self-Help
Center page (http://www.saclaw.org/pages/civil-self-help-center.aspx/).
Step 4. Make one complete set of copies for all parties that have appeared in the state
case. Have someone (NOT YOU) mail one set of copies to the plaintiff, and one set
each to any other parties in the case. You cannot serve your own documents.
Documents must be served by someone over 18 who is not a party to the case.
That person needs to fill out the Proof of Service (POS-030) and mail the copies. If you
are filing an Answer, have them mail it as well, and fill out a separate Proof of Service
for it. (For more information see our Proof of Service by Mail Step-By-Step guide at
http://www.saclaw.org/pages/pos-mail.aspx.)
Step 5. Make a copy of the signed Proof of Service for each remaining set of copies and
staple them together. Each set of copies should now contain:

Notice of Stay of Proceedings (CM-180) the form you filled out.


File-stamped copy of your Petition for Bankruptcy
Proof of Service signed by the person who served the papers on the plaintiff.

If you are filing an answer at the same time, you should have copies of the Answer and
its Proof of Service as a second set.
Put the original signed Proof of Service with your original signed set of papers.
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Step 6. Make at least 3 copies of the set of papers. The court needs two, and will
endorse (file-stamp) one copy for you to keep. If you are filing an Answer, make the
same number of copies.
Step 7: If you are filing an Answer, file the ORIGINAL Answer and two copies in the
state court where the lawsuit was filed. You will get endorsed (filed) copies in return.
There will be a fee ranging from $225-$435 to file the Answer. If you cannot pay the fee,
you may fill out a Fee Waiver Request. (For more information, see our Fee Waiver Stepby-Step Guide.)
Step 8. File the ORIGINAL Notice of Stay of Proceedings (CM-180) and two copies in
the state court where the lawsuit was filed. You will get endorsed (file stamped) copies
in return. If this is the very first thing you have filed in the case, and you dont file an
Answer, there will be a first appearance fee ranging from $225-435. Again, if you cannot
pay the fee, you may fill out a Fee Waiver Request. If you have already filed an answer,
there will be no charge to file the CM-180.
FOR HELP
For help with bankruptcy:
Bankruptcy Pro Se Assistance Desk
Federal Courthouse, 501 I Street, Third Floor, Room 3-210
Fridays, 9 am 12 pm
A volunteer attorney can help select bankruptcy forms, explain your rights and
duties during bankruptcy, and answer questions about procedures.
Debt Collection Defense and Bankruptcy Clinic (VLSP)
916-551-2102
http://www.vlsp.org/debt.asp
Voluntary Legal Services Program of Northern California is a nonprofit agency
that provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people in Sacramento and
surrounding counties. Services include assistance with bankruptcy and other
legal problems associated with collection of debts.
Community Legal Services - McGeorge School of Law Bankruptcy Clinic
916-340-6080
Low-income clients are provided legal representation in Chapter 7 proceedings;
dischargeability proceedings; and legal advice regarding debt collection issues.
Intake is open only during certain times of the year, generally January and July.
For help responding to a civil Summons and Complaint:
Civil Self Help Center at the Sacramento County Public Law Library
609 9th St., Sacramento CA 95814
http://www.saclaw.org/pages/civil-self-help-center.aspx
FOR MORE INFORMATION
See our Legal Resource Guides on Responding to a Lawsuit and Bankruptcy for
listings of information both at the Law Library and elsewhere on the web.
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS GUIDE, OR IF YOU NEED HELP FINDING OR
USING THE MATERIALS LISTED, DONT HESITATE TO ASK A REFERENCE LIBRARIAN.
H:\public\LRG-SBS\SBS Notice of Automatic Stay\SBS Notice of Automatic Stay.docx

updated kf 4/13; reviewed en 9/2013


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