California’s Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) has a number of intriguing preliminary provisions, many of which were enacted in 1872, as the CCP was one of California’s original four Codes. For example, CCP Section 21 divides judicial remedies into two classes: actions and special proceedings.
CCP Section 22 explains that an “action” is an ordinary proceeding in a court of justice by which one party prosecutes another for the declaration, enforcement, or protection of a right, the redress or prevention of a wrong, or the punishment of a public offense, while CCP Section 23 states that every other remedy is a “special proceeding.”
CCP Section 24 sets forth two kinds of actions: civil and criminal, and CCP Section 25 provides that a civil action arises out of an obligation or an injury. CCP Section 26 defines an “obligation” as a legal duty that arises from either a contract or by operation of law.
CCP Section 27 explains that an injury is either to the person or to property. CCP Section 28 defines an injury to property as depriving its owner of the benefit of it, which is done by taking, withholding, deteriorating, or destroying it. CCP Section 29 states that every other injury is an injury to the person.
CCP Section 30 specifies that a civil action is prosecuted by one party against another for the declaration, enforcement or protection of a right, or the redress or prevention of a wrong.