Motion to compe
Since the Defendant did not respond to my interrogatories, I filed a motion to compel and asked for monetary sanctions against the Defendant. The judge granted my motion, ordered the Defendant to respond to my interrogatories within 15 days and also awarded monetary sanctions for $150 against the defendant.
40 days passed and the Defendant did not respond to my interrogatories. I also did not make any attempts to collect my $150. I filed another motion to compel the Defendant to respond to my interrogatories and asked for monetary sanctions against the Defendant.
Since the hearing is tomorrow, the following tentative ruling has been posted on the superior court’s website:
Matter on calendar for Thursday, August 21, 2008. Plaintiff’s … motion for order compelling response to interrogatories against defendant … off calendar as moot. The Court previously issued an order compelling response to discovery, and awarded sanctions in this matter. This order is without prejudice to plaintiff seeking alternative orders or sanctions in furtherance of these discovery requests.
What is the meaning of this tentative ruling and what alternative orders or sanctions in furtherance of my discovery I can make?
Thank you very much.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Re: Motion to compe
The judge has a duty to be fair to both sides, so he couldn't give you the following advice: After a motion to compel is granted, and there is still no response, you would file a motion for further sanctions, which would include more money, and also an order entering the defendant's default (a "terminating sanction"] or some other type of order such as the defendant is liable for damages (an "issue" or "evidence" sanction]. See Rutter Group, Cal. Civil Procedure Before Trial (available from a law library].
Re: Motion to compe
You need to read Code of Civil Procedure Section 2023.030. In additional to awarding monetary sanctions, the court can order additional penalties such as throwing out some of the other parties evidence or deciding certain issues against them. In extreme cases, the court can even strike the pleadings of the party who has failed to comply with prior discovery orders.
You are better off hiring an attorney who knows what sanctions to ask for.