Q: What’s the maximum discovery sanctions one may request, as a pro per?
I requested formal discovery from opposing counsel. Opposing counsel failed to provide the Requests for Production of Documents and Tangible Things on or before the deadline. I am filing a motion to compel and would appreciate it if you would guide me as to what the maximum monetary limit in sanctions is for this type of situation.
Thank you kindly in advance.
A: The maximum sanction that you can ask for is your attorneys fees and costs. If you are pro per, you have no attorneys fees to collect, so you will be limited to "costs." For you that probably means your $60 motion fee (presuming you paid one, if you have a fee waiver this is not recoverable), and any postage and copy costs you have for the motion. Discovery sanctions cannot exceed the amount you spent. They are compensatory, not punitive. Further, if a judge believes the other side acted with "substantial justification" she will not give any sanction.
Remember that you have to meet and confer prior to filing any motion. Also note that objections can be a valid discovery response. Just because you asked for something does not mean that it was a proper request or that they have to comply. They can just object, and then you can accept that, meet and confer about it and try to resolve the problem, and that failing, file a motion. Finally, consider that if you do file a motion, the other side can ask for sanctions with its opposition. If they are represented, then they /do/ have attorneys fees that they can seek from you for filing the motion, if the judge finds that you failed to act without substantial justification or you failed to meet and confer.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.