California Code, Code of Civil Procedure - CCP § 581.5

In a case involving consumer debt, as defined in Section 1788.2 of the Civil Code , and as regulated under Title 1.6C.5 (commencing with Section 1788.50 ) of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code, if the defendant debtor appears for trial on the scheduled trial date, and the plaintiff debt buyer either fails to appear or is not prepared to proceed to trial, and the court does not find a good cause for continuance, the court may, in its discretion, dismiss the action with or without prejudice.  Notwithstanding any other law, in this instance, the court may award the defendant debtor's costs of preparing for trial, including, but not limited to, lost wages and transportation expenses.

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