Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

CIVIL CASE (UNLIMITED)= Combo question.....PLEASE HELP! If Plantiff's Attorney requests a deposition of Defendant, is the Defendant required to comply although there has been no order from the court to do so?

And what is the meaning of the following title:


Thank you in advance for your time & any assistance to this question.

Asked on 9/06/13, 10:58 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

It means that you are in serious trouble because you do not have the beginnings of a clue about how pre-trial discovery works. Courts got out of the business of issuing orders for discovery about a century ago. There are hundreds of Code of Civil Procedure sections covering every detail of how discovery is conducted and the parties are expected to follow them without court involvement. The only time the courts are involved are if someone fails to comply with the CCP discovery rules, or there is a dispute about discovery abuses or such things as claims of privileged information. Even then, the parties are expected to work things out themselves, and if one of them is being unreasonable and the court has to get involved they will be fined. So YES the defendant is required to comply with a properly issued and served deposition notice. Failure to comply will result in fines.

Which brings us to your second question. Apparently you were served with a request for documents and failed to comply. So now you are in exactly the situation I described. They are applying to the court for an order that you comply and that you be fined for not complying and making them go to court. If they get the order and you still don't comply, they can request that your answer be thrown out and an automatic judgment be entered against you.

As I said, the courts expect everyone to comply with their discovery obligations under the CCP without wasting the courts' time. They will throw the book at you if you ignore that.

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Answered on 9/06/13, 11:18 am

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

The attorney doesn't need a court order to make you appear for a deposition or answer written discovery. Pro per litigants need such orders, but those with attorneys do not.

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Answered on 9/06/13, 12:15 pm
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

Pro per litigants do not need a court order to notice a deposition. Any party can be noticed for deposition, without a court order, assuming that the notice complies with the Code of Civil Procedure.

It looks like one party has a motion to compel filed against them, with a request for monetary sanctions.

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Answered on 9/06/13, 2:25 pm

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