The filing of a complaint is just the beginning of a lawsuit. Once the complaint is filed and served the fun really begins. In California most homeowner lawsuits are met with a "Demurrer" (commonly known as a Motion to Dismiss in most states and in the Federal Courts). Once past the Demurrer stage, you then get into discovery along with additional motions (referred to as pleadings). The time between filing a complaint and actually getting to trial can be as long as two to three years (except for Unlawful Detainers which usually happens within 90 days). Below is a basic lawsuit that Jurisdictionary provides for FREE on their website. If you have not purchased Jurisdictionary yet, PLEASE DO. Click here.
In the nonjudicial foreclosure states, the homeowner is the one who must file the lawsuit. This makes for an interesting position because for the most part, the homeowner has the burden of proof (as the Plaintiff) and is often in the position of proving a negative. (i.e. the part foreclosing has not rights to foreclose).
In a typical nonjudical foreclosure lawsuit the process will go something like this:
Complaint filed --> Demurrer from Defendants --> HO files an Opposition to the Demurrer
Bank Replies to Demurrer --> Hearing on the Demurrer -->What happen? If the Demurrer was sustained with leave to amend, the HO must revise the complaint to resolve the deficiencies pointed out by the Demurrer, which point the HO files a First Amended Complaint (FAC) and the process starts over. Depending on the quality of the complaint, this process may repeat up to a second and even third amended complaint. By the time you get to a second or third complant, if the problem hasn't been resolved, the Complaint will be dismissed. If you have overcome the issues, the Defendants that are left will be ordered to Answer the Complaint.
Once the complaint is answered, you then start the discovery process.