The Judicial Council adopted and published new legal forms effective January 1, 2012. Under Government Code section 68511, the council may "prescribe" certain forms. Use of those forms is mandatory. The council may also "approve" forms. Use of an approved form is not mandatory, but the form must be accepted by all courts in appropriate cases (rule 1.35). Forms thus are "adopted" for mandatory use and "approved" for optional use. Please see click on the highlighted link for the New and revised Judicial Council forms list.
Optional vs. mandatory (How to tell): The lower left corner of the first page of each form indicates whether the form was "adopted" (mandatory) or was "approved" (optional) by the Judicial Council. (Note: Local rules of many courts make the use of some or all optional council forms mandatory in those courts. Please check local court rules.)
Computer versions of forms: A party may file a "duplicate" of a council form produced entirely by computer (rule 1.44).
How to fill out forms: Most forms can be downloaded to a local computer and filled out. You can also print any form and fill it out by hand. If you need help to fill out the court forms online, please read our section on "How to fill out court forms."