A declaration of non-monetary status is a special type of court filing reserved for trustees under a deed of trust. These trustees have limited powers, but are often named as defendants in lawsuits by plaintiffs seeking to ensure proper joinder.
Of course, being named in a complaint carries with it several responsibilities, chief among these being that every defendant must issue a responsive pleading, such as an answer. For the trustee included purely as a precautionary measure, this is frustrating. Not only will they need to file an answer, which is both costly and time consuming, but they will also consistently be served with court documents in a case they have no interest in litigating.
To get around this hassle, trustees may file a declaration of non-monetary status, provided the relevant deed of trust is the “subject” of a lawsuit. Successfully filing this declaration means that the trustee no longer needs to participate in the lawsuit, provided the trustee also agrees to be bound by any court order relating to the subject deed of trust.