DISCOVERY CASE OUTLINE
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INTERROGATORIES
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CASE OUTLINE

JUDICIAL COUNCIL FORM INTERROGATORIES

Deposition
Interrogatory
Document
Admission
Experts
Med.Exam Sanctions Meet & Confer Disc.Cutoff Referee
Basic Disc
E-discovery
Atty.- Client
Work Product
Privacy
Phys-Patient
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Reporter Priv
Official Info
Tax Return






CONTENTS



PARTIES required to respond; need not be adverse
TIMING & EXTENSIONS

Extensions for mail service
Extensions to answer:

SHOWING TO EXCEED STATUTORY LIMIT

ANSWERS TO INTERROGATORIES

Duty of Investigation

Information available to agents and attorneys.
Corporate knowledge
Employer/Insured
Attorneys
Experts
Not terminated expert
Not independent parties
Not legal research
Specify efforts made if cannot answer

Verification: Under oath unless only objections

FORM OF ANSWERS

Separate Answers
References to Records and Documents
Evasive Answers

EFFECT OF ANSWERS

Binding nature of interrogatory answers
Amended Answers; Supplemental and continuing interrogatories
Use at Summary Judgment 
Use at Trial: C.C.P. §2030.410


OBJECTIONS

General Objections & Boilerplate disapproved
Form interrogatories not objection proof
Burden of proof is on party making objection to sustain objection
Objections to form [C.C.P. §2030.060)]
Improper Objections

Propriety of objection may vary with the discovery device employed.
Question calls for opinion or conclusion.
Asked and answered at deposition.
Assuming facts not in evidence
Interrogator is conducting a fishing expedition
Hearsay
Interrogator knows facts
Objections to entire set; answering party should seek protective order
Confidential information; answering party should seek protective order

Weak Objections

Burdensome and Oppressive
Question calls for content of document.
Boilerplate
Overbroad
Information Equally Available to Propounder

Privileges


WAIVER OF OBJECTIONS [C.C.P. §2030.290(a) ]

Failure to object on specific ground within the time provided by law
General rule may not apply to Constitutional objections
General rule may not apply to privileges.

RELIEF FROM WAIVER [C.C.P. §2030.290(a)]

Pre 1986 case law based on C.C.P. §473 etc.

By declaration without separate motion (note change in statute)
Burden of Proof for relief on defaulting party

MOTIONS

C.C.P. § 1013 extension by 5 days due to mail service
Responses: no time limit [C.C.P. §2030.290]
Further responses: 45 days [C.C.P. §2030.300]
Waiver of right to further response by lack of timely motion [C.C.P. §2030.300(c)]
Relief from waiver
Enforcement of discovery by other parties

SANCTIONS FOR INTERROGATORY ABUSES
CLASS ACTIONS

CONTENTS top CASE OUTLINE

CALIFORNIA DISCOVERY

SAN FRANCISCO DISCOVERY
CASES

Allen v. Superior Court (Sierra) (1984) 151 Cal.App.3d 447 , 198 Cal.Rptr. 737
Alpine Mutual Water Co. v. Superior Court (1968), 259 Cal.App.2d 45
Associates Discount Corp. v. Tobb Co. (1966), 241 Cal.App.2d 541
In re ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation (N.D.Ca.2005), 233 F.R.D. 542
Biles v. Exxon Mobil Corp (2004), 124 Cal. App. 4th 1315
Borse v. Superior Court (1970) 7 Cal.App.3d 286.
Brotsky v. State Bar (1962), 57 Cal.2d.287
Browne v. Turner Construction Co. (2005)127 Cal.App.4th 1334
Budget Finance Plan v. Superior Court (1973), 34 Cal.App.3d 794
Bunnell v. Superior Court (1967), 254 Cal.App.2d 720
Burke v. Superior Court (1969), 71 Cal.2d 276
California Accounts Inc. v. Superior Court (1975), 50 Cal.App.3d 483
Campain v. Safeway Stores (1972), 29 Cal.App.3d 362
Castaline v. City of Los Angeles (1975), 47 Cal.App.3d 580
Cembrook v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 423,
Cheung v. Dullas (D. Mass. 1954), 16 F.R.D. 550
Chodos v. Superior Court (1963), 215 Cal.App.2d 318
City of Alhambra v. Superior Court (1980), 110 Cal.App.3d 513
City of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (1961), 196 Cal.App.2d 43
Coy v. Superior Court(1962), 58 Cal.2d 210
Columbia Broadcasting System Inc. v. Superior Court (1968), 263 Cal.App.2d 12
Coriell v. Superior Court (1974), 39 Cal.App.3d 487
Cornwall v. Superior Court (1974), 39 Cal.App.3d 487
Crumpton v. Dickstein (1978), 82 Cal.App.3d 166
Danzig v. Superior Court (1978) 87 Cal.App.3d 604
Darbee v. Superior Court (1962), 208 Cal.App.2d 680
Day v. Rosenthal (1985), 170 Cal.App3d 1125
De Los Santos v. Superior Court(1980), 27 Cal.3d 677
Deaile v. General Telephone Co. of Calif. (1974), 40 Cal.App.3d 841
Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771,
Durst v. Superior Court (1963), 218 Cal.App.2d 460
Fuss v. Superior Court (1969), 273 Cal.App.2d 807
Geisler v. Berman (1970), 6 Cal.App.3d 919.
Gordon v. Superior Court(1984), 161 Cal. App.3d 157
Greeneich v. Southern Pacific. Co. (1961), 189 Cal.App.2d 100
Greyhound v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 355
Guzman v. General Motors Corp. (1984), 154 Cal. App.3d 438
Hall v. Hague (D. Md. 1964), 34 F.R.D. 449
Hamwi v. Continental-Buckeye Investment Co. (1977), 72 Cal.App.3d 462
Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital v. Superior Court (1978), 81 Cal.App.3d 626
Hernandez v. Superior Court (2003), 112 Cal.App.4th 285
Holquin v. Superior Court (1972), 22 Cal.App.3d 812
Kaiser Steel Corp. v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp. (1976), 55 Cal.App.3d 737
Lantz v. Superior Court(1994), 28Cal.App.4th 1839
LeGrande v. Yellow Cab Co. (1970), 8 Cal.App.3d 125
Leach v. Superior Court (1980), 111 Cal.App.3d 902
Levy-Zentner Co. v. Southern Pacific Trans. Co. (1977), 74 Cal.App.3d 762
Mannino v. Superior Court(1983), 142 Cal.App.3d 776
Milton v. Montgomery Ward and Co., Inc. (1973), 33 Cal.App.3d 133.
Mowry v. Superior Court(1962), 202 Cal.App.2d 229
Nacht & Lewis Architects v. Superior Court(1996), 47 Cal.App.4th 214
O'Brien v. Superior Court (1965), 233 Cal.App.2d 388
Pantzalas v. Superior Court (1969), 272 Cal.App.2d 499
Parris v. Superior Court 109 Cal.App.4th 285 , 135 Cal.Rptr.2d 90
Peterson v. City of Vallejo (1968), 259 Cal.App.2d 757
Professional Career Colleges v. Superior Court(1989), 207 Cal.App.3d 490
Rangle v. Graybar Elec. Co. (1977), 70 Cal.App.3d 993
Regency Health Services Inc. v. Superior Court (1998), 64 Cal.App.4th 1496
Ryan v. Superior Court (1960), 186 Cal.App.2d 813
Sav-on Drugs, Inc. v. Superior Court (1975), 15 Cal.3d 1.
Sheets v. Superior Court (1967), 257 Cal.App.2d 1
Sigerseth v. Superior Court (1972), 23 Cal.App.3d 427
Shell Oil Co. v. Superior Court (1975), 50 Cal.App.3d 489
Singer v. Superior Court (1960), 54 Cal.2d 318
Smith v. Superior Court (1961)), 189 Cal.App.2d 6
Southern Railway Co. v. Lanhan (5th Cir. 1968), 403 F.2d 119
Standon v. Superior Court(1990), 225 Cal.App.3d 898
Stony Brook I Homeowners Ass'n. v. Superior Court (Diehl) (2000), 84 Cal.App.4th 691 , 101 Cal.Rptr.2d 67
Thoren v. Johnston & Washer (1972), 29 Cal.App.3d 270
Unger v. L.A. Transit Lines (1960), 180 Cal.App.2d 172
United Farm Workers of America v. Superior Court (1975), 47 Cal.App.3d 334
Universal Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Superior Court(1967), 250 Cal. App.2d 722
Vidal Sassoon Inc. v. Superior Court(1983), 147 Cal.App.3d 681
West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 407, 419
Williams v. American Cas.Co. (1971), 6 Cal.3d 266
Wooldridge v. Mounts (1962), 199 Cal.App.2d 620
Zonver v. Superior Court (1969), 270 Cal.App.2d 613
Zorro Inv. Co. v. Great Pacific Securities Corp. (1977), 69 Cal.App.3d 907

CONTENTS top cases


CALIFORNIA DISCOVERY

SAN FRANCISCO DISCOVERY
OUTLINE




PARTIES: need not be adverse; directed to party not specific persons affiliated with party

Demurrer

Budget Finance Plan v. Superior Court (1973), 34 Cal.App.3d 794. [Even though a demurrer has been sustained with leave to amend, defendant is a party within the meaning of C.C.P. § 2030.]

Class actions; unnamed members of class

Danzig v. Superior Court (1978) 87 Cal.App.3d 604. [Interrogatories may be propounded to unnamed members in a class action on issues common to the class provided defendants make a showing that the interrogatories are necessary to the trial of a proper class issue ]

Spoon v. Superior Court(1982), 130 Cal.App.3d 735 [objection re no prior order authorizing 34 interrogatories to class members in condo class action and 14 depositions; tr ct aff'd in ordering discovery though burden of proof on propounder to justify; no blanket immunity of unnamed class members from discovery]

See also Parris v. Superior Court 109 Cal.App.4th 285 , 135 Cal.Rptr.2d 90, [Plaintiff's lawyers have free speech rights to communicate with potential class members without prior court approval and subject only to injunctive relief; but, if information is sought from defendants to do so, the court may control the communication in the process of ruling on the discovery motion after balancing the discovery against potential abuses. See Howard Gunty, 88 Cal.App.4th at p. 580]

Artificial Person

Mowry v. Superior Court(1962), 202 Cal.App.2d 229 [entity answers; interrogs stricken because plaintiff's expert was designated as person to answer; answering party selects person to verify responses]

Castaline v. City of Los Angeles (1975), 47 Cal.App.3d 580, 588 [Corporation duty to provide information available to corp. not just signer of verification]

Cheung v. Dullas (D. Mass. 1954), 16 F.R.D. 550, 552. [Representative of party is not required to answer interrogatories directed to it personally.]

Hall v. Hague (D. Md. 1964), 34 F.R.D. 449. [Answers to interrogatories by minor plaintiff may be signed and sworn by minor's representative or signed by the attorney.See below re California cases on verification by guardian ad litem]

In re ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation (N.D.Ca.2005), 233 F.R.D. 542  [corporation must provide discovery in the possession, cusody or control of  its wholly owned subsidiary]

See below re verification

CONTENTS TOP CASES CASE OUTLINE

TIMING & EXTENSIONS

Extensions for mail service

Sheets v. Superior Court (1967), 257 Cal.App.2d 1, 8.(Code Civ.Proc. 1013 extends time by five days if interrogatories served by mail; See California Accounts Inc. v. Superior Court (1975) 50.) Cal.App.3d 483; Shell Oil Co. v. Superior Court (1975) 50 Cal.App.3d 489

O'Brien v. Superior Court
(1965), 233 Cal.App.2d 388. [? extra 5 days to move for further answers unclear ?]

Extensions to answer:

Should seek and obtain extension prior to expiration of original time to avoid argument that waiver has already occurred per statute

Cf. Kaiser Steel Corp. v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp. (1976), 55 Cal.App.3d 737, 745. [Time to respond to requests for admissions extended more than four years after date. Subsequent statutes and case law prohibited such extensions for responses to admissions. See the admissions case outline. Courts are traditionally reluctant to enforce admissions]

SHOWING TO EXCEED STATUTORY LIMIT

Williams v. Taser Int'l, Inc.(N.D.Ga 2007) , 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4028  “Insofar as Plaintiffs request leave to serve 20 additional interrogatories, their motion is denied. Without question, the Court has significant latitude to allow the service of additional interrogatories beyond the 25 initially permitted under [F.R.C.P. Rule 33]. The Court declines to exercise that discretion in this case, however, because Plaintiffs have made no showing that additional interrogatories are necessary. Indeed, beyond their simple assertion that this is a "complex" case which "involves highly technical issues of proof" ..., Plaintiffs have neither shown what additional information they hope to obtain through [*4]  written interrogatories nor submitted their proposed additional interrogatories to the Court for review. As a result, the Court cannot evaluate the necessity of additional interrogatories, and thus, the propriety of Plaintiffs' request. Accordingly, Plaintiffs' motion for leave to file 20 additional interrogatories is denied."

ANSWERS TO INTERROGATORIES

Duty of Investigation See also the Admissions Case Outline re duty of investigation

C.C.P. §2030.220

"...as complete and straightforward as the information reasonably available...permits"
"...answered to the extent possible...."
"...make a reasonable and good faith effort to obtain the information by inquiry to other natural persons or organizations...."

Information available to agents and attorneys.

Gordon v. Superior Court (1984), 161 Cal.App.3d 157, 167 [Party may be bound to incorrect answer if the other party is prejudiced; party cannot plead ignorance to information obtainable from sources under its control. See C.C.P. §2030.310 re amended answers]

Mowry v. Superior Court (1962), 202 Cal.App.2d 229 ["Agent" doesm't include expert hired for particular purpose and whose employment has terminated]

Corporate knowledge

See also Maldonado v. Superior Court (2002), 94 Cal.App.4th 1390 [corporate depsition; "…the witness or someone in authority is expected to make an inquiry of everyone who might be holding responsive documents or everyone who knows where such documents might be held."]

In re ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation (N.D.Ca.2005), 233 F.R.D. 542  ["Similarly, federal law requires that a parent respond to an interrogatory under FRCP Rule 33 with information from a subsidiary if it has access to that information and if the information is relevant and not privileged. 'Rule 33 requires that a corporation furnish such information as is available from the corporation itself or from sources under its control.' Brunswick Corp. v. Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd., 96 F.R.D. 684, 686 (D.C.Wis., 1983)(internal citations omitted).]

Employer/Insured

Pantzalas v. Superior Court (1969), 272 Cal.App.2d 499, 504. [Employer of insured under group policy is agent of the insurance company and the insurance company must answer interrogatories by providing information known to the employer.]

Attorneys

Smith v. Superior Court (1961)), 189 Cal.App.2d 6 [Information known only to the attorney must be disclosed]

Unger v. L.A. Transit Lines
(1960), 180 Cal.App.2d 172, 175.[Motion for inspection of materials in possession of attorneys for insurance company are in possession of insured.]

Experts

Sigerseth v. Superior Court (1972), 23 Cal.App.3d 427.[Sanctions imposed for party's refusal to obtain information from its own expert.]

Tehachapi-Cummings County Water Dist. v. Superior Court (1968), 267 Cal.App.2d 42, 46. [Interros re facts re common source of ground water and hydrological and geological facts; atty declaration re hiring expert before litigation; "What is demanded and what must be furnished is the factual positions taken.... The details of the sources of these viewpoints contained in the reports of the experts are not asked for in this proceeding, but only the asserted facts constituting the general positions upon which the parties base their claimed defenses. Court questions whether this is work product and points out that there is no attempt to discover what the expert told the attorney or the experts report.0

Chodos v. Superior Court
(1963), 215 Cal.App.2d 318, 322. [may have to consult experts to respond to request for admission.]

Mowry v. Superior Court (1962), 202 Cal.App.2d 229, 236 [Condemnation action where expert testimony by declaration had occurred. Expert was no longer employed but might be expert witness at trial. Court distinguishes between objective information in corporate possession and subjective information known only to expert and properly part of cross examination. . Language suggests that information only available to independent expert should be obtained by deposition but information known to coporation should be provided in answers to interrogs.]

Not terminated expert

Mowry v. Superior Court (1962), 202 Cal.App.2d 229. [Interrogatories directed to former expert to answer on behalf of corporation were improperly to a witness and not to the party. At page 233 "[Interrogatories are] not intended as an additional method of cross-examining, or eliciting information from, witnesses...."]. Agent for purposes of answering interrogs doesn't include an expert hired for a particular purpose whose employment has terminated. Corporation should answer re information available to it. ]

Not independent parties

Holquin v. Superior Court (1972), 22 Cal.App.3d 812. [Party need not contact independent party to answer interrogatories.)

Not legal research

Sav-on Drugs, Inc. v. Superior Court (1975), 15 Cal.3d 1.[Party need not conduct legal research to answer interrogatories re: legal authority for tax deductions.]

See also 1970 Advisory Committee Notes to FRCP Rule 33(b) re no need to answer contention interrogatories re pure question of law.  48 F.R.D 487

Specify efforts made

Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 782.[If a party is unable to fully answer it should set forth the efforts made to secure the information.]

Duty to search for documents

R & R Sails Inc. v. Ins. Co. of Pa.(S.D. Cal. 2008), 2008 WL 2232640    Sanctions for failure of a claims examiner to search for and produce electronic notes in database in an insurance breach of contract case. The Court ordered payment within 30 days of $39,914.68 [Cf. $67,154.72 requested and itemized] as reasonable expenses incurred due to the failure to conduct a reasonable investigation and produce electronic records from a data base. Sanctions were mandated since the failure to produce electronic notes was not “substantially justified” because the claims examiner “failed to recognize that the ... database that he entered notes into contained the 'daily activity logs or telephone records' that Plaintiff had been requesting.”
The Court also precluded evidence “Based on Defendant's past failure to timely produce electronically- stored information, and Plaintiff's concern that additional responsive electronically-stored information may be in Defendant's possession.

Verification: Under oath unless only objections

Answering entity selects person to verify

Mowry v. Superior Court (1962), 202 Cal.App.2d 229, 234

Form of verification not prescribed

LeGrande v. Yellow Cab Co. (1970), 8 Cal.App.3d 125.(Form of verification not prescribed by statute.)

Unverified answers may be equivalent of no response.

Zorro Inv. Co. v. Great Pacific Securities Corp. (1977), 69 Cal.App.3d 907.[Requests for admissions.]

Kaiser Steel v. Westinghouse Elec. (1976) 55 Cal.App.2d 737. [Requests for admissions]

Attorney verification improper

Mowry v. Superior Court (1962), 202 Cal.App.2d 229, 234

Unverified answers may be used for impeachment purposes as a prior inconsistent statement pursuant to Evid. Code 1235, 1236.

LeGrande v. Yellow Cab Co. (1970) 8 Cal.App.3d 125 [no oath is required for a prior consistent or inconsitent statement; interrogatory answers signed by cab driver properly excluded as not being a statement of the driver when driver had not read questions; depo testimony of driver contradicting interrogatory admission was read; nonsuit granted & aff'd.]

Guardian ad litem must verify for incompetent

Regency Health Services Inc. v. Superior Court(1998), 64 Cal.App.4th 1496 [trial court granted Plt. a protective order relieving the guardian ad litem of duty to verify; writ issued setting aside order and holding "...a guardian ad litem has the authority, subject to the court's ultimate supervision, to verify proper responses to interrogatories on behalf of the ward."

De Los Santos v. Superior Court (1980), 27 Cal.3d 677 [procedure followed though not issue in case; mother verified for minor]

CONTENTS TOP CASES CASE OUTLINE

FORM OF ANSWERS

Separate Answers [C.C.P. §2030.210(a)]

"...respond ...separately to each interrogatory
"If only a part...is objectionable, the remainder...shall be answered."

Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771,783. ["Where the question specific and explicit, an answer which supplies only a portion of the information sought is wholly insufficient. Likewise, a party may not provide deftly worded conclusionary answers designed to evade a series of explicit questions." ]

Hernandez v. Superior Court (Acheson Industries, Inc.) (2003)112 Cal.App.4th 285, 293-4.  [A general reference  to discovery & pleadings or general categories of documents plus boilerplate objections is  not particular to each of the special interrogatories. Tr Ct found responses unresponsive and privileges overruled or waived. Documents, including privileged documents, must be identified separately and in response to the particular interrogatories.]

Powerhouse Marks LLC v. Chi Hsin Impex, Inc.   (E.D. Mich. 2006) 2006 WL 83477. "Defendant Wal-Mart has asserted perfunctory "general objections" to each Interrogatory, asserting nearly every ground for objecting to an Interrogatory ever available to any party with respect to each and every one of Plaintiffs' Interrogatories. These objections can be easily discarded by a plain reading of Rule 33(b) which requires that "[a]ll grounds for an objection to an interrogatory shall be stated with specificity. Any ground not stated in a timely objection is waived unless the party's failure to object is excused by the court for good cause shown."

References to Records and Documents

General references to documents is improper response to interrogatories.

Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771,783-784.(Examples of improper and unresponsive answers include: "see my deposition"; "see my pleading"; "see the financial statement.")

Hernandez v. Superior Court (Acheson Industries, Inc.) (2003)112 Cal.App.4th 285, 293-4.  [A general reference  to discovery & pleadings or general categories of documents plus boilerplate objections is  not particular to each of the special interrogatories. Tr Ct found responses unresponsive and privileges overruled or waived. Documents, including privileged documents, must be identified separately and in response to the particular interrogatories.]

Cf. Bunnell v. Superior Court (1967), 254 Cal.App.2d 720, 723-4.[No information other than that contained in prior deposition and two prior trials. Court recognized general rule that a party cannot just refer to the record but in this case it was unjust to require one party to search the reocrd for the benefit of the other; p.724 "...when the material to be 'discovered' consists, as here, solely of information available to both parties, it defeats the purpose of the Discovey Act to compel one partyto perform another party's research, whether such be laborious or not." p. 723 ]

Fuss v. Superior Court (1969), 273 Cal.App.2d 807.[Citing Brotsky v. State Bar (1962) 57 Cal.2d.287, 304. Denial by tr ct of fur ans rev'd. ]

Permissible reference [C.C.P. §2030.230]

Clement v. Alegre (2009) , 177 Cal.App.4th 1277 [An interrogatory that referred to an answer to a prior interrogatory in the same set is not objectionable based on C.C.P. 2030.060 (d) because "reference to the previous interrogatory here does not refer to or incorporate other materials or documents." Slip Opn. Page 12.

Fuss v. Superior Court (1969), 273 Cal.App.2d 807[further answers must be compelled when respnse is not in accord with statute; allowing access to "perinent and proper" documents is not specification of records. ]

Statutory requirements

Compilation etc. is necessary to answer interrogatories
Burden substantially the same for each party
Specify records from which answer derived & make available

Powerhouse Marks LLC v. Chi Hsin Impex, Inc.   (E.D. Mich. 2006) 2006 WL 83477  ["Defendant also points to hundreds of pages of database printouts produced as allegedly responsive to Plaintiffs' Interrogatories. Plaintiffs maintain that the documents produced by Defendant are indecipherable and do not adequately answer their Interrogatories.... The Court has also reviewed the documents submitted under seal and concludes they are not adequately responsive to Interrogatories 1 and 2. The documents contain line item data arranged by columns and UPC codes. From this raw data, the Court is unable to ascertain the information sought by the Interrogatories. Thus Defendant Wal-Mart's document production is not adequately responsive to Plaintiffs' discovery requests." ]

A broad statement that the information is available from a mass of documents is insufficient.

Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 784.

The propounding party must be afforded a reasonable opportunity to inspect and copy the documents.

Fuss v. Superior Court (1969), 273 Cal.App.2d 807.

Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 777, 785.

The referenced documents should fully and completely answer the interrogatory with all information available to the answering party.

Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 784.["The party who makes recourse to this section declares that the information in the specified records is true, accurate and complete and that no other information is available to the answering party."]

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals v. Superior Court (1969), 275 Cal.App.2d 801, 804-805. [Court of Appeal assumed that medical records contained full and complete answers and that further answers would only be summaries of records. Further answers would be required if medical records were ambiguous or unresponsive but propounder may have burden to show references are inadequate. "All that we decide today is that defendants are not automatically required to prepare summaries of medical records in existence, which, according to their statements under oath, contain full and complete answers to... interrogatories."]

Fuss v. Superior Court (1969), 273 Cal.App.2d 807 [reference to documents when interrog asked for recollections on its face was improper

Responding party should state under oath that it has no knowledge other than that contained in the records.

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals v. Superior Court (1969), 275 Cal.App.2d 801. [Dictum re "probably" entitled to statement re no knowledge other than that contained in the records.]

Bunnell v. Superior Court (1967), 254 Cal.App.2d 720.[References to prior trials and depositions was sufficient answer to interrogatory requesting witnesses when party stated it had no other witnesses. The court noted it was improper to object that answer had been previously given in deposition or prior trials but that it would be unjust to require one party to review records for the benefit of another.]

Evasive Answers

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital v. Superior Court (1978), 81 Cal.App.3d 626, 630. Interrogatory answer identifying documents: "They are but not limited to the following: . . . "
Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 783.["A party may not provide deftly worded conclusionary answers designed to evade a series of explicit questions." ]

Fuss v. Superior Court (1969), 273 Cal.App.2d 807 [reference to docuememts when interrog asked for recollections is on its face inadequate]

Fuss v. Superior Court (1969), 273 Cal.App.2d 807 [Qualifications may render answers of little value: "... disclaimer 'there may be some duplication or omission.' It does not purport to represent the interrogated party's present best and complete answer. The description of the content of the exhibit and the disclaimer render the answer valueless to the interrogating party who may seek at trial to use the response for impeachment or to use it in advance of trial for the purpose of evaluating Rosenthal's claim or for preparing a defense.]

CONTENTS TOP CASES CASE OUTLINE

EFFECT OF ANSWERS

Binding nature of interrogatory answers

Kelly v. New West Federal Savings (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 659 , 56 Cal.Rptr.2d 803 Motion in limine granted precluding testimony inconsistent with prior position in deposition as to identity of elevator where accident occurred. At p.672, “The court erroneously granted the motion.***It is a misuse of a motion in limine to attempt to compel a witness or a party to conform his or her trial testimony to a preconceived factual scenario based on testimony given during pretrial discovery.”

Coy v. Superior Court(1962), 58 Cal.2d 210,219 ["immediately and conclusively binds the answering party to the facts set forth in his reply"]

Campain v. Safeway Stores (1972), [entitled to new trial when new element of damages presented contrary to interrogatory answers, creating surprise and prejudice. See Kelly v. New West Federal Savings (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 659, 672  suggesting a continuance and reopening of discovery should have been granted by the trial judge rather than preventing the proponent of the new issue from proceeding on that evidence and issue]

Universal Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1967), 250 Cal. App.2d 722[answers to contention interrogatory binding]

Singer v. Superior Court (1960), 54 Cal.2d 318 [good faith oversight of known facts o.k.]

Castaline v. City of Los Angeles (1975), 47 Cal.App.3d 580 [Def relied on interrogatory answers re full recovery and canceled defense medical exam; exclusion of med. testimony]

Guzman v. General Motors Corp. (1984), 154 Cal. App.3d 438

Amended Answers; Supplemental and continuing interrogatories

Amended answer without leave of court; motion to bind responding party to original answer [C.C.P. §2030.310; 1986 change in law may invalidate or modify some cases]

Gordon v. Superior Court(1984), 161 Cal. App.3d 157 [Tr.Ct. rev'd for allowing amendment when reliance and serious prejudice; prejudice to opposing party couldn't be cured; RD, type of sanction for failing to investigate adequately when orig. ans. provided]

Universal Underwriter Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1967), 250 Cal.App.2d 722.(Party bound by contention interrogatory and could not amend at pretrial stage of proceedings.)

Williams v. American Cas.Co. (1971), 6 Cal.3d 266.[(Three years after interrogatories were answered and after propounder brought interrogatory answers to the court's attention during the trial, the answering party filed "supplemental answers" that repudiated prior answers on a critical issue.]

Darbee v. Superior Court (1962), 208 Cal.App.2d 680, 687.

Supplemental interrogatories [C.C.P.§2030.070]

C.R.C Rule 3.1000. Numbering and identification rules

No continuing interrogatories [C.C.P. §2030.060(g)];    No duty to supplement  

Browne v. Turner Construction Co. (2005)127 Cal.App.4th 1334.
At page 1349 the Court noted a party, in opposing summary judgment,  is not "precluded from relying on facts that could have been but were not mentioned in response to interrogatories. This premise in turn rests on the "urban legend" that "a responding party has an affirmative duty to supplement responses to interrogatories if and when new information comes into that party's possession . . . ." (Biles v. Exxon Mobil Corp.Id. at p. 1328.)

Biles v. Exxon Mobil Corp (1st Dist. Div 2, Dec. 2004), 124 Cal. App. 4th 1315, 1318-1319.[Trial court reversed when it excluded plaintiff's declaration providing new facts discovered after the motion was filed and granted summary judgment. The trial court based its decision on a failure update prior interrogatory answers. Unlike the federal courts, California has always rejected continuing interrogatories and the the current statute expressly prohibits them. The appellate court explained the decision in Thoren v. Johnston & Washer (1972) 29 Cal.App.3d 270 :
"Thoren provides authority for excluding evidence based on a willfully false discovery response. It does not stand for the proposition that evidence may be excluded based on the mere failure to supplement or amend an interrogatory answer that was truthful when originally served.

Smith v. Superior Court (1961), 189 Cal.App.2d 6

Note FRCP Rule 26(e) duty to correct or supplement for materially incomplete or incorrect answers to discovery

Use at Summary Judgment 
Browne v. Turner Construction Co. (2005)127 Cal.App.4th 1334. Summary judgment for defendants on "negligent performance of a voluntary undertaking" issue was reversed because plaintiff properly supported its claim with deposition testimony. In addition to objecting to the deposition testimony as hearsay, Defendant sought to exclude evidence based on incomplete answers to "all facts" interrogatories regarding liability contentions. "He responded that while discovery and investigation were continuing, he believed Intel had required to be removed, and Turner had removed, 'the hydraulic lifts from the part of the project on which plaintiff was working, thereby requiring him to use a ladder as a work platform.' "
At page 1349 the Court noted a party is not "precluded from relying on facts that could have been but were not mentioned in response to interrogatories. This premise in turn rests on the "urban legend" that "a responding party has an affirmative duty to supplement responses to interrogatories if and when new information comes into that party's possession . . . ." (Biles v. Exxon Mobil Corp. (2004), 124 Cal.App.4th 1315, 1318-1319.) There is no statutory duty in California to supplement interrogatory responses. (Id. at p. 1328.) Even if plaintiff had violated a duty to supplement his responses it would not ordinarily justify the exclusion of evidence in the absence of a willful violation of an order for disclosure. (Id. at p. 1327.) [10] In short, without a demonstration of "discovery abuse," there is no general prohibition against "introducing previously undisclosed evidence in opposition to a summary judgment motion." (Id. at p. 1329, fn. omitted.).
The Court rejected the argument that providing facts not included in prior responses was contradictory. "It disclosed matters not mentioned in those responses, but it was in no sense logically inconsistent with them. The cases cited by defendants prevent parties from avoiding summary judgment by contradicting their earlier, unequivocal admissions, i.e., affirmative statements concerning the events at issue. Here plaintiff made no such earlier affirmative admission."

Biles v. Exxon Mobil Corp (2004), 124 Cal. App. 4th 1315 [Trial court reversed when it excluded plaintiff's declaration providing new facts discovered after the motion was filed and granted summary judgment. The trial court based its decision on a failure update prior interrogatory answers. Unlike the federal courts, California has always rejected continuing interrogatories and the the current statute expressly prohibits them. The appellate court explained the decision in Thoren v. Johnston & Washer (1972) 29 Cal.App.3d 270 : 
"Thoren provides authority for excluding evidence based on a willfully false discovery response. It does not stand for the proposition that evidence may be excluded based on the mere failure to supplement or amend an interrogatory answer that was truthful when originally served."

Use at Trial [C.C.P. §2030.410]

Preclusion of contrary evidence at trial or reversal for not doing so

Kelly v. New West Federal Savings (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 659 , 56 Cal.Rptr.2d 803 Motion in limine granted precluding testimony inconsistent with prior position in deposition as to identity of elevator where accident occurred. At p.672, “The court erroneously granted the motion.***It is a misuse of a motion in limine to attempt to compel a witness or a party to conform his or her trial testimony to a preconceived factual scenario based on testimony given during pretrial discovery.” Campain v. Safeway Stores (1972), 29 Cal.App.3d 362.[Defendant entitled to new trial when new element of damages presented contrary to interrogatory answers, creating surprise and prejudice. See Kelly v. New West Federal Savings (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 659, 672  suggesting a continuance and reopening of discovery should have been granted by the trial judge rather than preventing the proponent of the new issue from proceeding on that evidence and issue]

Thoren v. Johnston & Washer (1972), 29 Cal.App.3d 270.[Testimony of critical witness excluded because witness' name omitted from interrogatory answer] Cf. Milton v. Montgomery Ward & Co. (1973), 33 Cal.App.3d 133.(Not err to allow plaintiff to testify when not listed as witness.)

Crumpton v. Dickstein (1978), 82 Cal.App.3d 166.(Experts never revealed in answers to interrogatories should be precluded from testifying.) Cf. Rangle v. Graybar Elec. Co. (1977) 70 Cal.App.3d 993.(Judgment reversed when trial court precluded rebuttal expert.)
Cf. Williams v. American Cas.Co., supra, at p. 275.(". . . the insurer is not bound, as a matter of law, to its initial answers to these interrogatories.")

Milton v. Montgomery Ward and Co., Inc. (1973), 33 Cal.App.3d 133.(Plaintiff answered an interrogatory requiring a list of all injuries by identifying ribs, low back, kidneys, headaches, nerves. The answer did not preclude evidence of a neck injury.)

Castaline v. City of Los Angeles (1975), 47 Cal.App.3d 580.(Deposition testimony contradicted prior interrogatory re: residual effects; no exclusion of testimony.)

A party can't introduce his own answers in evidence except per C.C.P. §2030.310

Geisler v. Berman (1970), 6 Cal.App.3d 919.

Interrogatory answers are not admissible against third parties.

Castaline v. City of Los Angeles (1975), 47 Cal.App.3d 580. [interrog answers a few weeks before trial contradicted by subsequent depo testimony]

Associates Discount Corp. v. Tobb Co. (1966), 241 Cal.App.2d 541. [Interrogatories to adverse party cannot be used against another based on rationale of no opportunity to cross examine; 3d party was now deceased and law at time did not require service of interrogatories to all parties]

Peterson v. City of Vallejo (1968), 259 Cal.App.2d 757, 776.

Note 1974 amendment deleted "solely for their information" re other parties served

Third parties may use answers to interrogatories against propounder.

Levy-Zentner Co. v. Southern Pacific Trans. Co. (1977), 74 Cal.App.3d 762,788-791.(Responses to request for admission.)

Unverified interrogatory answers may be used to impeach as a prior inconsistent statement. (Evid.Code 1235, 1236.)

Le Grande v. Yellow Cab (1970), 8 Cal.App.3d 125, 129.

CONTENTS TOP CASES CASE OUTLINE

OBJECTIONS See also cases cited in Document and other discovery case outlines

General Objections & Boilerplate & "nitpicking" disapproved

Clement v. Alegre (2009) , 177 Cal.App.4th 1277 [No. A123168. First Dist., Div. Two. Sep. 23, 2009.] Sanctions for "meritless" and "nitpicking" objections. An award of $6,632.50 as discovery sanctions was not an abuse of discretion where the party was avoiding discovery "(in this case by responding to straightforward interrogatories with nitpicking and meritless objections), resulting in delaying proceedings, impeding the self-executing operation of discovery, and wasting the time of the court, the discovery referee, the opposing party, and his counsel". Slip Opn. Page 2. The court found there was no substantial justification for such disputes to be forced into court "when no genuine dispute exists." Slip Opn. Page 15.

Hernandez v. Superior Court (Acheson Industries, Inc.) (2003)112 Cal.App.4th 285, 293-4.  [A general reference  to discovery & pleadings or general categories of documents plus boilerplate objections is  not particular to each of the special interrogatories. Tr Ct found responses unresponsive and privileges overruled or waived. Documents, including privileged documents, must be identified separately and in response to the particular interrogatories.]

Standon v. Superior Court (1990), 225 Cal.App.3d 898 [Motion to compel document production more than 45 days after the response denied as untimely. Court referred to
objection of "vague, ambiguous, and unintelligible" "...as a 'nuisance' objection, and not as an attempt to justify a complete failure to comply. Had Kim relied on this objection to the extent of refusing to produce any medical bills or expense documentation, it is beyond question that this would have been subject to sanction."]

Williams v. Taser Int'l, Inc.  (N.D.Ga 2007), 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40280
"To the extent that Plaintiffs wish to compel Taser to omit boilerplate objections from its answers to interrogatories and requests to produce, Plaintiffs' motion is granted. Even a cursory review of Taser's discovery responses in this case reveals that its answers to Plaintiffs' discovery requests are, almost without exception, qualified by boilerplate objections to the relevancy of the discovery sought, the undue burdens associated with its production, etc. While the Court appreciates Taser's desire to avoid waiving an otherwise legitimate objection by failing to assert it, such objections are improper under the Federal Rules. As this Court has previously explained,"[m]erely stating that a discovery request is vague or ambiguous, without specifically stating how it is so, is not a legitimate objection to discovery."[citations omitted] Rather, objections to discovery requests must be sufficiently plain and specific to allow the Court to understand precisely how the challenged discovery requests are alleged to be objectionable. ...What is more 'such non-specific objections operate to render the producing party the final arbiter of whether it has complied with its discovery obligations under [F.R.C.P.Rule 26] because the requesting party lacks sufficient information to understand either the scope of the objection, or to frame any argument as to why that objection is unfounded.The problems which flow from such non-specific objections to discovery requests are manifest in this case. Taser's constant inclusion of such boilerplate objections has unnecessarily clouded the discovery process and invited dispute and disagreement by needlessly sowing doubt about the exhaustiveness of Taser's production and responses. n3 This is especially true in a case where, as here, the information Plaintiffs require is in large part within Taser's sole custody or control, and yet, Taser has been minimally responsive to Plaintiffs' discovery requests. The Court is determined to see discovery in this case proceed in an orderly and expeditious manner, and will not consider any future objection to discovery requests which fails to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Accordingly, Taser should refrain from asserting boilerplate, non-specific objections to Plaintiffs' discovery requests. n4

Footnotes.
n3 The Court notes that in many instances it appears that Taser asserted numerous boilerplate objections and then proceeded to answer the interrogatory in question. By proceeding in this manner, Plaintiffs are left to wonder if the response provided is complete, or whether the response is instead only partially complete and otherwise responsive information has not been produced on the basis of the asserted objections. Needless to say, this practice is the root of many of the discovery disputes in this case.
n4 In addition, as the Court instructed at the May 21, 2007 hearing, Taser should refrain from asserting objections to what it perceives to be Plaintiffs' argumentative phrasing of their discovery requests, and instead reserve any objections for those matters genuinely contested by Taser so that Plaintiffs and the Court may identify and attempt to resolve any remaining discovery issues in this case."

Powerhouse Marks LLC v. Chi Hsin Impex, Inc.   (E.D. Mich. 2006) 2006 WL 83477. "Defendant Wal-Mart has asserted perfunctory "general objections" to each Interrogatory, asserting nearly every ground for objecting to an Interrogatory ever available to any party with respect to each and every one of Plaintiffs' Interrogatories. These objections can be easily discarded by a plain reading of Rule 33(b) which requires that "[a]ll grounds for an objection to an interrogatory shall be stated with specificity. Any ground not stated in a timely objection is waived unless the party's failure to object is excused by the court for good cause shown."

Form interrogatories not objection proof

Nacht & Lewis Architects v. Superior Court(1996), 47 Cal.App.4th 214 [tr.ct. rev'd for compelling further answers over work product objection. to 12.2 based on answers to 12.1.; interrogatory was not invalidated; further consideration of 12.3 ordered]

Burden of proof is on party making objection to sustain objection

Coy v. Superior Court (1962) 58 Cal.2d, 210, 220.["...the long- established procedural rule that he who asserts the affirmative of an issue has the burden of proving it. Defendants here had the burden of showing facts from which the trial court might find that the interrogatories were interposed for improper purposes."]

Columbia Broadcasting System Inc. v. Superior Court (1968) 263 Cal.App.2d 12.

In re ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation (N.D.Ca.2005), 233 F.R.D. 542  ["Finally, this Court finds that BAC fails to support its claim of burden, making only a blanket objection without specifics sufficient to justify denying discovery. The objecting party has the burden to substantiate its objections. Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. v. West, 748 F.2d 540 (10th Cir.1984), cert. dismissed, 469 U.S. 1199, 105 S.Ct. 983, 83 L.Ed.2d 984 (1985). The litany of overly burdensome, oppressive, and irrelevant does not alone constitute a successful objection to a discovery request. Employers Commercial Union Insurance Company of America, et al. v. Browning-Ferris Industries of Kansas City, Inc., 1993 WL 210012 (D.Kan.1993); Roesberg v. Johns-Manville Corp., 85 F.R.D. 292 (E.D.Pa.1980)."]

West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 407, 422  ["As a litigant, it is entitled to demand answers to its interrogatories, as a matter of right, and without a prior showing, unless the party on whom those interrogatories are served objects and shows cause why the questions are not within the purview of the code section. Apparently, to meet that burden, Pacific filed declarations and voluminous points and authorities in the trial court."


Objections to form [ C.C.P. §2030.060]

Compound, conjunctive or disjunctive questions prohibited by C.C.P. §2030.060

Shotgun Interrogatory: form requires constant reference back to preceding interrogatories is now prohibited by C.C.P. §2030.060

West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 407, 419.("This type of interrogatory should be avoided and the trial court possesses the power to regulate them." Trial court can require rephrasing.)

Improper objections

Question calls for opinion or conclusion.

West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 407, 417.

Greyhound v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 355, 392-393.

Durst v. Superior Court (1963) 218 Cal.App.2d 460,464-465.

Asked and answered at deposition.

Coy v. Superior Court (1962) 58 Cal.2d 210, 218.

Bunnell v. Superior Court (1967) 254 Cal.App.2d 720.

Assuming facts not in evidence

Greyhound Corp. v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 355, 392.

West Pico Furniture v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 407, 421.

Interrogator is conducting a fishing expedition

Greyhound Corp. v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 384-386.

Compound conjunctive or disjunctive questions prohibited by C.C.P. §2030.060(f)

West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 407, 421. and Smith v. Superior Court (1961)), 189 Cal.App.2d 6 no longer valid on point

Hearsay

Durst v. Superior Court (1963), 218 Cal.App.2d 460, 464.

Greyhound Corp. v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 355, 392.

Smith v. Superior Court (1961)), 189 Cal.App.2d 6

Interrogator knows facts

Alpine Mutual Water Co. v. Superior Court (1968), 259 Cal.App.2d 45.

Singer v. Superior Court (1960), 54 Cal.2d 318, 324.

Burke v. Superior Court (1969), 71 Cal.2d 276, 283.

Objections to entire set; answering party should seek protective order

United Farm Workers of America v. Superior Court (1975) 47 Cal.App.3d 334, 347 (Abuse of discretion to strike entire set of interrogatories even though "many. . . appear to have no relevancy and appear intended only to harass.")

Wooldridge v. Mounts (1962), 199 Cal.App.2d 620.[Set stricken on eve of trial.]

Cembrook v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 423, 430. [Objections to entire set of requests for admissions indicates a lack of good faith.]

Weak objections; though valid, these objections may be more difficult to establish

Burdensome and Oppressive only valid when it results in injustice.

Stony Brook I Homeowners Ass'n. v. Superior Court (Diehl) (2000), 84 Cal.App.4th 691 , 101 Cal.Rptr.2d 67 [subpoena sought litigation related billings as to Plt & Def from med expert who was ordered to produce summary of total number of patients and total billings for each side over 4 yr. period; when expert sought ex parte relief due to burden, expert was ordered to allow access to records by temp personnel hired by Plt to abstract info; ct app noted Plt was "entitled to know "what percentage of ... practice involves examining patients for the defense and how much compensation he derives from defense work." but precise information as to the number of patients and amount of compensation was too burdensome and intrusive into expert's privacy; the court ordered numerical estimates to be provided at the expert's deposition of the number of exams etc. and total compensation derived from Plt and Def. and cut the period to 3 yrs from 4; it also allowed the expert to hire temporary personnel, at plaintiff's expense, to abstract the information and shift the burden and expense to the party seeking the information. The court required estimates by oral testimony rather than the more accurate records which might have been expensive to compile. In addition, the expert threatened to resign and the plaintiff would be left without an expert at trial.]

Day v. Rosenthal (1985), 170 Cal.App.3d 1125 [Protective order upheld for oppressive last minute discovery involving 9 sets of interrogatories and several depositions in 5 yr. litigation when issues known for 5 yrs.]

West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 407, 417-418. "The last objection...to interrogatory...is that it is burdensome and oppressive. In support of that objection Pacific filed...the declaration of the manager of its commercial operations and administration department, alleging that the information requested could only be obtained by a search of the records of 78 of its branch offices. Other specific requirements were also set forth, but no estimate was made of the total man hours required to accomplish the task. Certainly that declaration indicated some burden would be imposed on Pacific to answer the interrogatory, but the extent thereof was not specifically set forth. But the declaration did not indicate any evidence of oppression.  Oppression must not be equated with burden. The objection based upon burden must be sustained by evidence showing the quantum of work required, while to support an objection of oppression there must be some showing either of an intent to create an unreasonable burden or that the ultimate effect of the burden is incommensurate with the result sought. Certainly, in the instant case, under the rules laid down in the Greyhound case, supra, the trial court, in its discretion, could properly hold that interrogatory Number 4 was burdensome....  Each of the sections grants the power to make such orders as justice requires, but none of them so much as refers to "burden." This indicates a legislative acknowledgment that some burden is inherent in all demands for discovery. The objection of burden is valid only when that burden is demonstrated to result in injustice. Hence, the trial court is not empowered to sustain an objection in toto, when the same is predicated upon burden, unless such is the only method of rendering substantial justice. From the facts presented here, it is clear that total rejection of the interrogatory indicates a failure by the trial court to recognize the discretionary power to grant in part and deny in part, and to balance the equities, including costs, that is to balance the purpose and need for the information as against the burden which production entails, all as set forth in the Greyhound opinion, supra. (See also Chronicle Pub. Co. v. Superior Court, 54 Cal.2d 548, 575 [7 Cal.Rptr. 109, 354 P.2d 637].) The order of the respondent court...should be set aside to permit a review at the trial level for the purpose of determining whether or not justice requires that the objection be sustained in toto or in part, or be denied in toto, or be denied with limitations as to the manner of bearing the burden and the party who should bear it.

Allen v. Superior Court (Sierra) (1984) 151 Cal.App.3d 447 , 198 Cal.Rptr. 737 [Document production per subpoena to def med expert rev'd as too intrusive and abuse of discretion absent showing that substantially equivalent information can't be obtained via depo questions or other less intrusive means. Dr declaration re production burden and would resign if ordered to produce docs; Motion for protective order denied by tr ct.; Expert ordered by tr ct to produce Plt's exam & billing records, expert's source of income from def atty or ins co, % of income from def medical, expert's depo for 5 yrs in def med cases; Writ issued to vacate order for production; Expert may be asked at deposition re % & amount derived from def med but need not learn, details of his billing and accounting, specifics of his prior testimony and depositions, exact info re number of cases and amounts of compensation paid.]

Pantzalas v. Superior Court
(1969), 272 Cal.App.2d 499. [Burden must result in injustice. Court suggests that burden is inherent in the way the party has chosen to conduct its business. Might seek reimbursement of expenses to answer.]

Fuss v. Superior Court
(1969), 273 Cal.App.2d 807, 817.

Greyhound v. Superior Court
(1961), 56 Cal. 2d. 355, 380.   The case, 56 Cal.2d at 401, recognized undue burden as a proper objection to discovery. e.g. at p.385 "placing more burden upon the adversary than the value of the information warrants"




"Oppression" requires showing of either

1.Intent to create unreasonable burden OR
2.Burden incommensurate with result sought

Day v. Rosenthal (1985), 170 Cal.App.3d 1125
West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 407.
Deaile v. General Telephone Co. of Calif. (1974) 40 Cal.App.3d 841. [In defamation case, interrogatory sought name of every woman employee at a facility on a specific date and which were still employed.]
Coy v. Superior Court at p.220[...the long- established procedural rule that he who asserts the affirmative of an issue has the burden of proving it.  Defendants here had the burden of showing facts from which the trial court might find that the interrogatories were interposed for improper purposes."]
CBS v. Superior Court 263 Cal.App.2d12,18

Must sustain objection by evidence showing quantum of work required.

West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 407, 417.[Declaration of manager stating search of 78 branch offices was required was insufficient; should show man hours required. "As a litigant, it is entitled to demand answers to its interrogatories, as a matter of right, and without a prior showing, unless the party on whom those interrogatories are served objects and shows cause why the questions are not within the purview of the code section. Apparently, to meet that burden, Pacific filed declarations and voluminous points and authorities in the trial court."]


Coriell v. Superior Court (1974), 39 Cal.App.3d 487 [Conclusionary statements are insufficient.)

Alternative of C.C.P. §2030.230 response when appropriate

Coriell v. Superior Court (1974), 39 Cal.App.2d 487, 493.

Brotsky v. State Bar (1962), 57 Cal.2d 287, 304.(If Code of Civil Procedure section 2030(f)(2) alternative is available but party declines to use it because it doesn't want opponent to inspect its records, answering party should bear the burden.)

If burdensome and oppressive, trial court should not totally deny answer but should limit scope.

Borse v. Superior Court (1970), 7 Cal.App.3d 286.

Cf. Holquin v. Superior Court (1972), 22 Cal.App.3d 812 [In asking questions that had already been the subject of discovery the court stated:  "There is no reason why they should have to answer a set of interrogatories  which, in effect, asks them to review the file."] 

Interrogatories may be limited to jurisdictional facts pending resolution of motion to quash.

1880 Corp. v. Superior Court (1962), 57 Cal.2d 840.

Question calls for content of document

West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 407, 419.(Information regarding identity of document or information contained in documents is proper subject of interrogatory.)

Greeneich v. Southern Pac. Co. (1961), 189 Cal.App.2d 100, 112. [Interrogatory: "set forth the contents of any correspondence. . . ," etc. Objections that documents aren't designated as required by C.C.P. §2031. "Appellants were of course entitled to have this interrogatory answered.")

Cf. Holquin v. Superior Court (1972), 22 Cal.App.3d 812 [In asking questions that had already been the subject of discovery the court stated:  "There is no reason why they should have to answer a set of interrogatories  which, in effect, asks them to review the file."] 

Question calls for confidential information;  seeking a  protective order rather than adding this objection to the response may indicate the sincerety of the objector and importance of  maintaining the confidentiality

Columbia Broadcasting System Inc. v. Superior Court (1968), 263 Cal.App.2d 12, 23.[Objection to interrogatory is not equivalent to motion for protective order.]

General Electric v. Superior Court (1955), 45 Cal.App.2d 897, 899. [Production of cost accounting records.]

Ryan v. Superior Court (1960), 186 Cal.App.2d 813, 820.

Boilerplate

Wooldridge v. Mounts (1962), 199 Cal.App.2d 620.(Court condemned boilerplate interrogatories but refused to reverse a judgment after the trial court had stricken an entire set of interrogatories on the eve of trial. The court stated "...under ordinary circumstances it would have been error for the trial court to have sustained objection to all of the interrogatories propounded.)

See also discussion in documents outline

Overbroad; cf burden and relevancy

Durst v. Superior Court (1963), 218 Cal.App.2d 460.(Interrogatory may be too broad and unreasonable so as to justify protective order.)

Ryan v. Superior Court (1960), 186 Cal.App.2d 813.(If the interrogatory is too broad, a party doesn't have to answer it and the trial court doesn't have to rephrase it; cf. Borse, supra.)

City of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (1961), 196 Cal.App.2d 43, 748.(Answer to interrogatory requesting name, etc. of every person who has knowledge of any relevant fact in connection with this lawsuit was denied on grounds it was "as broad as space" and repetitive.)

Ambiguous: can qualify or explain answer and respond in good faith.

Clement v. Alegre (2009) , 177 Cal.App.4th 1277[An objection that the term "economic damages" was vague was found to be "preposterous" at p.7 and without substantial justification. Slip Opn. Page 8.   Sanctions for "meritless" and "nitpicking" objections. An award of $6,632.50 as discovery sanctions was not an abuse of discretion where the party was avoiding discovery "(in this case by responding to straightforward interrogatories with nitpicking and meritless objections), resulting in delaying proceedings, impeding the self-executing operation of discovery, and wasting the time of the court, the discovery referee, the opposing party, and his counsel". Slip Opn. Page 2. The court found there was no substantial justification for such disputes to be forced into court "when no genuine dispute exists." Slip Opn. Page 15.

Information Equally Available to Propounder

Alpine Mutual Water Co. v. Superior Court (1968), 259 Cal.App.2d 45.[One party cannot force opponent to search public records to answer interrogatories.]

Ryan v. Superior Court (1960), 186 Cal.App.2d 813.(Comparison of biographical names in two published volumes.)

Pantzalas v. Superior Court (1969), 272 Cal.App.2d 499, 503. [Information of employer re group policy is more available to insurance company than to employee-insured since employer is agent of insurance company.)

City of Alhambra v. Superior Court (1980), 110 Cal.App.3d 513, 521.[Prior lawsuits; ". . . petitioner's own records . . . are . . . more easily accessible to it . . . . "]

Sav-on-Drugs, Inc. v. Superior Court (1975), 15 Cal.3d 1.
(Can't require disclosure of statutory basis for tax deductions at issue.)

Greyhound Corp. v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 355, 384.

Privileges [ See case outlines on privileges]

Can seek identification of documents; only contents are privileged

Smith v. Superior Court (1961)), 189 Cal.App.2d 6 [can inquire into existence of photographs and names of witnesses giving statement]

Hernandez .v Superior Court (2003), 112 Cal.App.4th 285,  293.  [“...a responding party may object to an interrogatory that seeks privileged information by clearly stating the objection and the particular privilege invoked. But the existence of a document containing privileged information is not privileged. (Smith v. Superior Court (1961) 189 Cal.App.2d 6, 12; see also, Mitchell v. Superior Court (1984) 37 Cal.3d 591, 601-602.) Interrogatories may be used to discover the existence of documents in the other party's possession. (See e.g., Fellows v. Superior Court (1980) 108 Cal.App.3d 55, 59-60.) If an interrogatory asks the responding party to identify a document, an adequate response must include a description of the document. (Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978) 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 783.) Thus, we agree with petitioners that a "privilege log" is unnecessary with regard to answering interrogatories seeking the identification of documents. (See Smith v. Superior Court, supra, "189 Cal.App.2d at p. 12.)”

CONTENTS TOP CASES CASE OUTLINE


WAIVER OF OBJECTIONS [C.C.P. § 2030.290(a) ]

Failure to object on specific ground within the time provided by law

West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 407, 414.

Coy v. Superior Court (1962), 58 Cal.2d 210, 216-217.

Mannino v. Superior Court(1983), 142 Cal.App.3d 776

Sheets v. Superior Court (1967), 257 Cal.App.2d 1, 8.

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital v. Superior Court (1978), 81 Cal.App.3d 626.

O'Brien v. Superior Court (1965), 233 Cal.App.2d 388, 391.

Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 785.

Fuss v. Superior Court (1969), 273 Cal.App.2d 807. ["An objection to an interrogatory must be interposed within the statutory time for response and, absent a showing of good cause for relief from default, cannot be considered, if made thereafter. (Coy v. Superior Court, 58 Cal.2d 210, 216 [23 Cal.Rptr. 393, 373 P.2d 457, 9 A.L.R.3d 678].) [5b] In the case at bench, no objection was asserted within the required time and no attempt has been made to establish good cause to be relieved of the failure."]

Leach v. Superior Court (1980), 111 Cal.App.3d 902, 905. [Rule 222.1 did not authorize late objections.]

General rule may not apply to Constitutional objections

Lantz v. Superior Court(1994), 28 Cal.App.4th 1839, 1857 fn.10 ["Waivers of constitutional rights are not lightly found. Heda v. Superior Court, supra, 225 Cal.App.3d at p.530.]

Zonver v. Superior Court (1969) 270 Cal.App.2d 613, 623.[In fn.6 the Court assumed the general rule applies to 5th Amendment and other Constitutional objections.]

General rule may not apply to privileges.

Southern Railway Co. v. Lanhan (5th Cir. 1968) 403 F.2d 119, 134. [Objection first raised on motion to reconsider order for production]

CONTENTS TOP CASES CASE OUTLINE

RELIEF FROM WAIVER [C.C.P. § 2030.290(a)(1)&(2)]

Burden of Proof for relief on defaulting party

West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961), 56 Cal.2d 407

Mannino v. Superior Court (1983) 142 Cal.App.3d 776,779 [abuse of discretion to allow late objections when weak excuse for 6 days late in filing boilerplate objections after prior extension granted & no further extensions sought from counsel or ct. On remand ct should consider sanctions]


Good cause showing for relief

Fuss v. Superior Court (1969), 273 Cal.App.2d 807. ["An objection to an interrogatory must be interposed within the statutory time for response and, absent a showing of good cause for relief from default, cannot be considered, if made thereafter. (Coy v. Superior Court, 58 Cal.2d 210, 216 [23 Cal.Rptr. 393, 373 P.2d 457, 9 A.L.R.3d 678) ]


Pre 1986 case law based on C.C.P. § 473.

Zorro Investment Co. v. Great Pacific Securities (1977), 69 Cal.App.3d 907. [Relief from admissions.]

Kaiser Steel Corp. v. Westinghouse Elec. (1976), 55 Cal.App.3d 737. [Relief from admissions. Enlargement of time to object after time expires.]

By declaration without separate motion (note change in statute)

Zonver v. Superior Court (1969), 270 Cal.App.2d 613. [Declaration filed prior to the hearing.]

Borse v. Superior Court (1970), 7 Cal.App.3d 286. ["Plaintiff contends that the trial court had no discretion to entertain defendant's objections to the interrogatories, those objections being tardily raised. Plaintiff's contention has no merit."]

CONTENTS TOP CASES CASE OUTLINE

CALIFORNIA DISCOVERY

SAN FRANCISCO DISCOVERY

MOTIONS /TIMING

C.C.P. §1013 extention of time to move by 5 days due to mail service

California Accounts Inc. v. Superior Court (1975), 50 Cal.App.3d 483.

  Possible cure of inadequate notice by continuance of hearing; see Karz v. Karl (1982)137 Cal.App.3d 641, 646

Responses: no time limit [C.C.P. §2030.290 ]

Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 788.

Further responses: 45 days [C.C.P. §2030.300(c) ]

Vidal Sassoon Inc. v. Superior Court (1983), 147 Cal.App.3d 681

Professional Career Colleges v. Superior Court(1989), 207 Cal.App.3d 490, 493 [C.C.P. § 2030.300 codifies Vidal Sassoon case re lack of jurisdiction to act on untimely motion; cannot evade time limits by repropounding same interrogatories]

Karz v. Karl (1982)137 Cal.App.3d 641, 646 [time limitation is mandatory and if not met any order is in excess of jurisdiction. Dictum suggest motion need not be filed since statute say "made" but see CCP 1005.5 re made when filed]

O'Brien v. Superior Court (1965), 233 Cal.App.2d 388

Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 788.

Waiver of right to further response by lack of timely motion [C.C.P. § 2030.300(c)]

O'Brien v. Superior Court (1965), 233 Cal.App.2d 388.(Trial court does not have jurisdiction to act on an untimely motion.)

Bensimon v. Superior Court (Tarrant Apparel Group) (12/4/2003) ___ CA4th ___ [Writ denied on strict enforcement of 20 day writ period on denial of summary judgment based on rationale of law requiring prompt resolution of such matters. "Because the purpose of the 20-day time limit is to prevent unnecessary delay when an interlocutory order is challenged [cite], the limitation is jurisdictional [cite] and is not extended by a motion for reconsideration [cite]." Reconsideration motion does not extend time.]

Waiver cannot be avoided by repropounding interrogatories

Professional Career Colleges v. Superior Court(1989), 207 Cal.App.3d 490, 493 [cannot evade time limits by repropounding same interrogatories; C.C.P. § 2030(l) codifies Vidal Sassoon case re lack of jurisdiction to act on untimely motion]

p.494 "...it would be an absurdity to say that the party who fails to meet the time limits of section 2030 may avoid the consequences of his delay and lack of diligence by propounding the same question again....We hold that [the statute] means what it says."

Relief from waiver

Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 788.(Relief from failure to make timely motion. O'Brien case expressly leaves question open.)
See re lack of general 473 relief for discovery act

Enforcement of discovery obligations by other parties

Note statutory changes

Castaline v. City of Los Angeles (1975), 47 Cal.App.3d 580 [No right or duty to intervene in two party discovery; cannot compel further answers; 1974 amendment deleted "solely for their information" from obligation to serve copies.]

Hernandez v. Superior Court (2003), 112 Cal.App.4th 285, 292  [Joint interrogatories to Plt but motion by one defendant to compel further answers was granted as to all joint defendants. “...formal joinder in the motion to compel was irrelevant 'to the extent that this asks for information that is applicable to all the different defendants.' ... And petitioners have not suggested that formal joinders or separate motions would have accomplished any more than adding duplicative weight to the court's file.”]


Form of motion
Meet and Confer requirements

CONTENTS TOP CASES CASE OUTLINE

SANCTIONS FOR INTERROGATORY ABUSES
See Sanctions Case Outline


Answers [C.C.P. §2030.290(c)]

May be proper to award sanctions even if answers are served prior to the hearing.

Fred Howland Co. v. Superior Court (1966) 244 Cal.App.2d 605. (Partial answers filed one day before hearing; $250 sanctions proper.)

California Rule of Court Rule 341 expressly authorizes sanctions even if answers are filed and the motion is not opposed

See evidentiary sanctions below

Further answers [C.C.P. §2030.300(d)&(e)]

Inadequate initial answers

Saxena v. Goffney (2008), 159 Cal.App.4th 316 ,.330-334 [monetary sanctions for evasive or non-responsive interrogatory answers; other sanctions require violation of court order; opinion suggests propounding party must move to compel or cannot get relief later]

Stein v. Hassen (1973), 34 Cal.App.3d 294

Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771,790,798.

Cf  sanctions for failure to search for documents

R & R Sails Inc. v. Ins. Co. of Pa.(S.D. Cal. 2008), 2008 WL 2232640    Sanctions for failure of a claims examiner to search for and produce electronic notes in database in an insurance breach of contract case. The Court ordered payment within 30 days of $39,914.68 [Cf. $67,154.72 requested and itemized] as reasonable expenses incurred due to the failure to conduct a reasonable investigation and produce electronic records from a data base. Sanctions were mandated since the failure to produce electronic notes was not “substantially justified” because the claims examiner “failed to recognize that the ... database that he entered notes into contained the 'daily activity logs or telephone records' that Plaintiff had been requesting.”
The Court also precluded evidence “Based on Defendant's past failure to timely produce electronically- stored information, and Plaintiff's concern that additional responsive electronically-stored information may be in Defendant's possession.

Improper objections

Clement v. Alegre (2009) , 177 Cal.App.4th 1277 [No. A123168. First Dist., Div. Two. Sep. 23, 2009.] Sanctions for "meritless" and "nitpicking" objections. An award of $6,632.50 as discovery sanctions was not an abuse of discretion where the party was avoiding discovery "(in this case by responding to straightforward interrogatories with nitpicking and meritless objections), resulting in delaying proceedings, impeding the self-executing operation of discovery, and wasting the time of the court, the discovery referee, the opposing party, and his counsel". Slip Opn. Page 2. The court found there was no substantial justification for such disputes to be forced into court "when no genuine dispute exists." Slip Opn. Page 15.
The Court also confirmed that abuses need not be wilful to be sanctionable. "There is no requirement that misuse of the discovery process must be willful for a monetary sanction to be imposed." (Cal. Civil Discovery Practice (Cont.Ed.Bar 4th ed. May 2009 update) § 15.94, p. 1440, citing Code Civ. Proc. § 2023.030, subd. (a); 2 Hogan & Weber, Cal. Civil Discovery (2d ed. 2004) Sanctions, § 15.4, p. 15-8 ["Whenever one party's improper actions -- even if not 'willful' -- in seeking or resisting discovery necessitate the court's intervention in a dispute, the losing party presumptively should pay a sanction to the prevailing party." (Fn. omitted)]; Kohan v. Cohan (1991) 229 Cal.App.3d 967, 971.)

Frey v. Superior Court (1965), 237 Cal.App.2d 201, 204.(Husband-wife privilege.)

Wilson v. Superior Court (1964), 226 Cal.App.2d 715, 724.

Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978), 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 790.

Contra Fairfield v. Superior Court (1966), 246 Cal.App.2d 113, 119. (Dictum.)

Union Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1978), 80 Cal.App.3d 1, 15.(Party seeking sanctions must demonstrate that opposing party's objections were insubstantial, were interposed for purpose of delay or harassment, or were otherwise unreasonable. NOTE: statutory change shifts burden to person opposing sanctions to show substantial justification or injustice)

Issue , evidence or terminating sanctions for noncompliance [C.C.P. §2030.300(e)]

Saxena v. Goffney (2008), 159 Cal.App.4th 316 , at p.330-34. Only monetary sanctions are available for evasive or incomplete answers.  "...sanctions for misuse of the discovery process are limited "[t]o the extent authorized by the chapter governing any particular discovery method or any other provision of [the Civil Discovery Act]." (§ 2023.030.) Thus, the sanctions available to remedy evasive or incomplete responses to interrogatories are limited to those contained in Chapter 13 of the Civil Discovery Act (§ 2030.010 et seq.).”

Petersen v. City of Vallejo (1968), 259 Cal.App.2d 757.

Williams v. Travelers Ins. Co .(1975), 49 Cal.App.3d 805, 810

Carly Richards, Inc. v. Superior Court (1961), 188 Cal.App.2d 300.

Sigerseth v. Superior Court (1972), 23 Cal.App.3d 427,

Campain v. Safeway Stores(1972), 29 Cal.App.3d 362[Defendant entitled to new trial when new element of damages presented over objection and  contrary to interrogatory answers, creating surprise and prejudice. See Kelly v. New West Federal Savings (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 659, 672  suggesting a continuance and reopening of discovery should have been granted by the trial judge rather than preventing the proponent of the new issue from proceeding on that evidence and issue]

Thoren v. Johnson & Washer(1972), 29 Cal.App.3d 270 [ Tr Ct exclusion of critical testimony for omission of name in interrogatory answers resulted in nonsuit; J aff'd no abuse of discretion; NB Saxena v. Goffney at p. 333 limited exclusion remedy to responses that are “willfully false, i.e., intentionally not true;” the burden of proof is on the moving party. The court distinguished this abuse from those listed in the Discovery Act for which a remedy is specified and limited by statute.]


CONTENTS TOP CASES CASE OUTLINE

CLASS ACTIONS

See also CRC Rule 1858. Discovery from unnamed class members

Puerto v. Superior Ct. (Wild Oats Markets, Inc.), (2008), 158 Cal.App.4th 1242.   No. B199631 (1/15/08) In a case “alleging wage and hour violations, contact information required for 2600 employees identified as potential witnesses in response to Form Interrogatory 12.1.  An "opt in" approach is unduly restrictive.  See also Pioneer Electronics (USA), Inc. v. Superior Court (2007) 40 Cal.4th 360.  
After initially responding with boilerplate objections, defendant provided the names and positions but not contact info of 2600 - 3000 witnesses to the incident subject to all objections but later suggested they may not actually be witnesses. Ultimately, the trial court required the identified “witnesses” to consent in writing and “opt in” as a prerequiste for disclosure of contact information. The appellate court issued a writ vacating that order and requiring disclosure. It discussed privacy rights extensively.
“During discovery , the trial court partially granted a motion to compel Wild Oats to provide the telephone numbers and addresses of individuals previously identified by name by Wild Oats in response to a form interrogatory, adopting a procedure to protect their privacy by sending a notice that would have required those individuals to fill in a postcard authorizing a third party administrator to disclose their addresses and phone numbers to petitioners. We conclude that the opt-in notice unduly hampers petitioners in conducting discovery to which they are entitled by erecting obstacles that not only exceed the protections necessary to adequately guard the privacy rights of the employees involved but also exceed the discovery protections given by law to far more sensitive personal information. Based on this conclusion, we hold that the trial court abused its discretion, and grant the writ.”***“Let a peremptory writ of mandate issue directing the superior court to vacate its order allowing disclosure and contact only if the witness consents, and to enter a new order directing the disclosure of contact information for the individuals identified in response to Form Interrogatory No. 12.1. This order is without prejudice to petitioners seeking a further response to the Form Interrogatory that includes only those persons Wild Oats believes to have percipient knowledge.”
“Apparently mindful of the fact that the right to privacy in contact information is unlikely to trump the petitioners' right to investigate their claims by contacting witnesses, Wild Oats vigorously argues that the population whose information is sought by petitioners cannot be characterized as witnesses. Taking this position requires Wild Oats to assert that the individuals it identified under oath in response to discovery are not potential witnesses.”
“In response to Form Interrogatory No. 12.1, Wild Oats identified approximately 2600 witnesses, but refused to tell petitioners how to find them. Petitioners have a statutory entitlement to the contact information for these witnesses.” [citations]
Factual distinctions from the Pioneer case were noted “...we also note that salient distinctions exist between that case and the circumstances here. In Pioneer, the plaintiffs sought not just contact information, but the very identities of the affected individuals; here the witnesses' identities have already been disclosed. Moreover, the discovery in Pioneer was precertification discovery designed to identify members of the class rather than to locate percipient witnesses, although the Supreme Court did note that some number of the potential class members would also be witnesses. This procedural distinction explains why the opt-out letter outcome of Pioneer is not necessarily appropriate here: in Pioneer, the plaintiffs were looking for people who would want to participate in the lawsuit. As pursuing litigation is a voluntary activity, an opt-out letter that offered recipients the option of participating or declining to participate was appropriate. In contrast, a percipient witness's willingness to participate in civil discovery has never been considered relevant--witnesses may be compelled to appear and testify whether they want to or not.”

Southern California Edison Co. v. Superior Court , 7 Cal.3d 832 (1972) [Deposition of class members. Court applied practical approach and discretion to determine issue of discovery in the context of the class action setting. Although finding that unnamed class member were persons for whose immediate benefit an action was prosecuted and thus normally the subject of deposition by notice, the court relied on the general protective order provisions to affirm the trial court's quashing of a noticed deposition without prejedice to subpoena to the unnamed class members. Despite extensive efforts by class reps to produce unnamed class members, only 2 of 20 were produced. The court was compelled by the practicalities and noted at p.838-9 "...most importantly, the named plaintiffs contend that the allowance of merely a notice procedure for the taking of depositions will destroy the effectiveness of the class action as a litigation tool and as an economic method of adjudication." The court also rejected a general rule that defendants must show good cause to propound discovery to unnamed class members.]

Danzig v. Superior Court (1978) 87 Cal.App.3d 604. [Interrogatories may be propounded to unnamed class members when the class is small (53-60) and the unnamed class members have a substantial ($50,000) financial interest if the propounder makes a prior showing the interrogs only request info necessary to try class action issues, such info is not readily ascertainable from other sources, and it is not unduly burdensome or for an improper purpose (e.g. decrease class size, harass unnamed class members or dismiss plaintiffs) Tr.ct. ordered unnamed class members to answer 35 interrogatories; ct app. Rev'd.;Unnamed class members can be compelled to answer interrogs since they recieve notice, opt out option, opportunity to get own counsel, benefit and bound by judgment and relatively few in number[53-60] in this case with substantial financial interests [$50,000]. The Ct App commented at p.611-612: “If fairness to all involved in the litigation requires that absent members of a class furnish information, we see no reason why section 2030, subdivision (b)(1) should, in a class action, be so narrowly construed as to prevent appropriate discovery.” ...“In class actions, it is for the 'trial courts to adopt innovative procedures which will be fair to the litigants and expedient in serving the judicial process.' (Vasquez v. Superior Court (1971) 4 Cal.3d 800, 821”]

Spoon v. Superior Court(1982), 130 Cal.App.3d 735 [146 condo owners each with $100,000 damages. Objection re no prior order authorizing 34 interrogatories and 14 depositions of unnamed class members; tr ct aff'd in ordering discovery though burden of proof on propounder to justify was met at hearing; no blanket immunity of unnamed class members from discovery; Danzig criticized re limits on subjects of discovery]

See also Parris v. Superior Court 109 Cal.App.4th 285 , 135 Cal.Rptr.2d 90, [Plaintiff's lawyers have free speech rights to communicate with potential class members without prior court approval and subject only to injunctive relief; but, if information is sought from defendants to do so, the court may control the communication in the process of ruling on the discovery motion after balancing the discovery against potential abuses. See Howard Gunty, 88 Cal.App.4th at p. 580])

Coriell v. Superior Court (1974), 39 Cal.App.3d 487, 493. [Deferring discovery by interrogatories pending determination of class worthiness.]

Alpine Mut.Water Sup. v. Superior Court (1968), 259 Cal.App.2d 45. [Plaintiff can be required to furnish information re other class members.]

Union Mut.Life Ins.Co. v. Superior Court (1978), 80 Cal.App.3d 1. [Defer expensive discovery until court certifies class.]

Hamwi v. Continental-Buckeye Investment Co. (1977), 72 Cal.App.3d 462, 467 & 474. [Information re class worthiness prior to detailed and expensive discovery.]

National Solar Equipment Owners Assn. v. Grumman Corp.(1991), 235 Cal.App.3d 1273, 1283 [Denial of class certification reversed when trial court had sought concession from plaintiff for unfettered discovery from class members as a condition to certification. Defendants are entitled to depose a reasonable number of unnamed class members. "We thus merely hold that the trial court erred in requiring unlimited discovery of the unnamed class members as a prerequisite to class certification."

CONTENTS TOP CASES CASE OUTLINE

CALIFORNIA DISCOVERY

SAN FRANCISCO DISCOVERY