Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

I filed motion to compel discovery of Spec. Interrogatories, Form Interrogatories, Admissions & Documents on 7-19-12. The filed packet included Seperate Statement for Special Interrogatories. It did not include Seperate Statement for the other discovery requests. Hearing on the motion is 9-5-12. Is it procedurally acceptable to "late-file" Seperate Statements, and if so, are there specific requirements to attach to previously filed packet? Alternatively, since opposition's discovery responses were unverified, should Discovery requests be resubmitted to opposition as Set #2 in order to re-commence a time-line within which I can meet deadline to compel.

Thank you!

Asked on 7/26/12, 8:25 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

I hate seeing stuff like this get posted. Discovery and discovery motions are so complicated that books have been written on the procedures alone. There are all kinds of tricky rules that are set forth in the Code of Civil Procedure, the Rules of Court, and local rules for the various courts that it is impossible to set forth everything that you need to know. The subject could be legitimately taught as a one semester course in law school.

The rules are clear that you need to file a separate statement of discovery items in dispute for each item in dispute. The fact that you filed a separate statement for special interrogatories is not going to help with getting an order compelling further responses to the other discovery devices. Based on your hearing date, it would appear that you can file a separate statement for the other discovery items, but you need to make sure that those papers are filed with the court at least 16 court days before the hearing and served on your opponent. If you are having the items served by mail in the state, you need to increase that time period by 5 days.

I really would recommend that you consult with an attorney and consider retaining one. Some lawyers will provide legal coaching assistance at a reduced fee if you insist on representing yourself. People who represent themselves in discovery matters run a severe risk of losing their cases and being sanctioned.

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Answered on 7/26/12, 10:44 am
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

I agree with Mr. Roach. Separate statements should be filed and served with the motions, but what really matters is whether they are filed and served far enough in advance of the hearing date. You still have time to do that.

There are many ways for someone who doesn't know the rules to mess up what should be a winning motion. Get a lawyer if at all possible. If you can't afford to have one represent you, at least try to have one act as a consultant. That way she can explain what you need to do and tell you how it should be done.

Good luck.

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Answered on 7/26/12, 12:04 pm

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