In California a civil action commences with the filing of a complaint. The party who commences the action is called the plaintiff, and the adverse party is called the defendant. According to Cal Code Civ Proc Section 412.10, once a complaint is filed the plaintiff can have the court clerk issue summons for any defendant(s).
Different types of pleadings in California courts are: Complaints, demurrers, answers and cross complaints. A complaint should be filed by the real party in interest. If the real party in interest is a minor or incompetent person, the person’s guardian, or conservator or guardian ad litem should file the complaint.
California provides for both trial by jury and trial by court. Generally, a judgment is passed on merits soon after the trial.