Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 3

1This newsletter issue will discuss the use of requests for production of documents in California litigation.

Requests for production of documents are a vital tool for obtaining the documents that support the opposing partys claims or defenses so they can be reviewed. Demanding production and inspection of documents and tangible things, as well as entering onto land for inspection and other purposes is permitted under the Code of Civil Procedure in California. Parties in California dissolution (divorce) proceedings can utilize the same discovery procedures as are used in California civil litigation as the same rules and procedures are applicable unless another statute or rule has been adopted by the California Judicial Council. See Family Code 210. The rules governing requests for production of documents are found in Code of Civil Procedure 2031.010, et seq. Code of Civil Procedure 2031.010 states that, (a) Any party may obtain discovery within the scope delimited by Chapters 2 (commencing with Section 2017.010) and 3 (commencing with Section 2017.710), and subject to the restrictions set forth in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2019.010), by inspecting, copying, testing, or sampling documents, tangible things, land or other property, and electronically stored information in the possession, custody, or control of any other party to the action. (b) A party may demand that any other party produce and permit the party making the demand, or someone acting on that party's behalf, to inspect and to copy a document that is in the possession, custody, or control of the party on whom the demand is made. (c) A party may demand that any other party produce and permit the party making the demand, or someone acting on that party's behalf, to inspect and to photograph, test, or sample any tangible things that are in the possession, custody, or control of the party on whom the demand is made. (d) A party may demand that any other party allow the party making the demand, or someone acting on that party's behalf, to enter on any land or other property that is in the possession, custody, or control of the party on whom the demand is made, and to inspect and to measure, survey, photograph, test, or sample the land or other property, or any designated object or operation on it. (e) A party may demand that any other party produce and permit the party making the demand, or someone acting on that party's behalf, to inspect, copy, test, or sample electronically stored information in the possession, custody, or control of the party on whom demand is made. A defendant may propound a request for production of documents at any time, however a plaintiff may not do so until at least ten (10) days have passed since service of the summons on the defendant, or the general appearance by the defendant, whichever occurs first. See Code of Civil Procedure 2031.020. There is no numerical limit to the number of requests but a party served with excessive requests may seek leave of court to limit the number of requests. This does not apply to limited civil cases which have a maximum limit of thirty five (35) total discovery requests. Note that there are no content or format restrictions relating to requests for production of documents. This means that the propounding party can get very creative such as the following example. Any and all DOCUMENTS that evidence, memorialize, or tend to reflect in any way to any

agreements or contracts, or amendments to agreements or contracts, whether written, oral or implied by conduct, entered into between YOU OR ANYONE ACTING ON YOUR BEHALF and DEFENDANT OR ANYONE ACTING ON THEIR BEHALF for the period from January 1, 2009 through the date of production specified herein. (Example only). Because of the lack of content and format restrictions the example request for production is perfectly acceptable. Whereas it would be objectionable if it were a special interrogatory as it is (1) compound, and (2) it contains or which is considered disjunctive, both of which are prohibited in special interrogatories. While a party should ensure that any documents requested are at least somewhat relevant to the issues in the case, it is also true that information, which includes documents, is discoverable if it might reasonably lead to admissible evidence. For discovery purposes, information is relevant if it might reasonably assist a party in evaluating case, preparing for trial, or facilitating settlement. Gonzalez v. Superior Court (City of San Fernando (1995) 33 Cal.App.4th 1539, 1546. Admissibility is not the test and information, unless privileged, is discoverable if it might reasonably lead to admissible evidence. Davies v. Superior Court (1984) 36 Cal.3d 291, 301 These rules are applied liberally in favor of discovery. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1982) 31 Cal.3d 785, 790, and (contrary to popular belief), fishing expeditions are permissible in some cases. Greyhound Corp. v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 355, 385, (although fishing may be improper or abused in some cases, that "is not of itself an indictment of the fishing expedition per se.) Requests for production and inspection of documents and tangible things are very useful in that they allow a party to review in detail all relevant documents and tangible things that support the opposing partys claims or defenses. If you enjoy this newsletter, tell others about it. They can subscribe by visiting the following link: http://www.legaldocspro.net/newsletter.htm Have a great week and thanks for being a subscriber. Yours Truly, Stan Burman The author of this newsletter, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California litigation since 1995. The author's website: http://www.legaldocspro.net View numerous sample documents sold by the author: http://www.scribd.com/legaldocspro

Copyright 2012 Stan Burman. All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: Please note that the author of this newsletter, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this newsletter is NOT intended to constitute legal advice. These materials and information contained in this newsletter have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this newsletter is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the sender and receiver. Subscribers and any other readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.