Stipulation Law and Legal Definition

A stipulation is an agreement made by parties or by their attorneys in a judicial proceeding before the court. Stipulations are often made on procedural matters. Stipulations are also sometimes made regarding factual matters not in dispute in order to save time required in producing evidence in court. Some stipulations are oral, but are often required to be put in writing, signed and filed with the court. Stipulations save time and promote judicial efficiency.

The following is an example of a California local court rule involving stipulations and the failure to file such a stipulation:

Cal. Contra Costa Super. Ct. L.R. 12.6


A. Notice of Case Classification Conference. Upon filing of a petition for dissolution, legal separation, nullity or paternity, the Court shall calendar a Case Classification Conference (CCC). Petitioner shall serve respondent with a Notice of CCC at the time the petition is served. The purpose of the CCC is to assess which classification best suits the case's particular needs. The parties, or, if represented, their attorneys shall be prepared to advise the Court of which classification best suits their case. At the discretion of the judge, the case will be assigned to one of the following classifications:

1. Conventional. A Conventional case is ready to proceed to judgment without delay. Cases in which neither party is represented by an attorney will generally be classified as Conventional.

2. Managed. A Managed case is one where one or both of the parties are represented by counsel

3. Diverted. A Diverted case is a case where the parties have stipulated or will stipulate at the CCC to use Alternate Dispute Resolution ("ADR") to resolve their case including but not limited to mediation, arbitration, or Collaborative Family Law.

B. Scheduling and Notice. Upon filing the petition, the Court will set the CCC, and petitioner will serve the Notice of CC on the responding party at the time the petition is served. Each party may request one continuance by telephone up to five (5) days before the scheduled conference date for a reasonable period of time. The continuance must be by stipulation if respondent has appeared. Continuances may be requested ex parte with a declaration showing good cause.

C. Preparation For Case Classification Conference.

1. Prior to the CCC, the parties shall meet and confer to best determine the classification of their case. If the parties stipulate that their case can be classified as "Diverted" as defined above, the parties shall submit their stipulation and order to the Court no later than seven (7) calendar days prior to the date set for the CCC, and the Court will set the CCC for hearing in twelve (12) months from the date of the stipulation and order. Failure to file the stipulation and order as set forth herein will require attendance at the CCC.

2. If the parties determine that their case should be classified as Conventional or Managed, then no later than seven (7) calendar days prior to the CCC, the parties may file a stipulation (i) so classifying the case, (ii) setting a date by which each side shall serve and file a proof of service of, completed Preliminary Disclosure documents to include the Schedule of Assets and Debts and the Income and Expense Declaration, pursuant to the Family Code, (iii) providing a blank space for the clerk to fill-in with a date for a Case Management Conference and (iv) containing a "so ordered" line for the Court to sign. If the Court enters an order on the stipulation, the parties need not appear at the CCC.

D. Attendance at CCC. Parties shall be personally present at the CCC unless represented by counsel, in which case, counsel shall appear. Counsel and parties may appear by Court Call. If a stipulation and order has been filed pursuant to 12.6.C.2 above, no appearance is required.