What is General Appearance?
General Appearance meaning A general appearance can be the filing of a document with the court (in our case, a response, answer or Responsive Declaration, or even their own motion for relief other than an attack on jurisdiction) or personal appearance at a hearing where the defendant/respondent does not challenge the jurisdiction of the court. The defendant must file a motion to quash the summons or dismiss the action either before or at the same time it files its document or, in the case of the appearance (except for appearances due to ex parte motion–appearance on the merits in an ex parte matter does not constitute a general appearance), must orally make their motion before the court proceeds on the merits of the matter before the court. The defendant must object to jurisdiction within the time he/she has to respond to the Summons (i.e., 30 days).
reference: California Department of Child Services