CCP 36(a) requires a trial court to give a person who is over 70 and proves by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she has a substantial interest in the action and that his or her health is such that preference is needed to avoid prejudicing his or her interest in the litigation.  The required showing by a 70+ year-old under 36(a) is much less demanding than that required of a younger person under 36(d), which requires clear and convincing medical documentation and proof that the movant is unlikely to survive beyond six months.  Here, the 81-year old plaintiff easily satisfied the lower showing required under 36(a), and the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to grant her calendar preference.

California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 4 (Streeter, J.); March 20, 2018; 2018 WL 1392333