Santa Monica, CA asked in Consumer Law, Employment Law, Family Law and Personal Injury for California

Q: Motion to compel Discovery vs motion to compel further responses

The defendant refused to respond to requests for documents. After I filed a motion to compel, he responded with unverified boilerplate objections—past the deadline. Should I now file a motion to compel further responses and book a new hearing? If I do, should I withdraw the motion to compel discovery and replace it with the new motion, utilizing the same hearing date? Can I use the same hearing date for other motions, or do I need to book a different hearing date for each motion?

3 Lawyer Answers
Tobie B. Waxman
Tobie B. Waxman
  • Culver City, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If the responses are unverified it's as if there were no responses at all, so you should/could keep your motion to compel on calendar. If he/she opposes your motion, you should attach a copy of the unverified objections, only responses as an exhibit to your Reply. You can also err on the side of caution and still file a separate motion to compel further responses without taking your original motion to compel off calendar. As for any other motion you want to file, it would need to be filed separately and it would be up to the court whether or not to use the same hearing date.

James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, there is a distinction between a motion to compel discovery and a motion to compel further responses:

1. Motion to Compel Discovery: This motion is appropriate when the responding party fails to provide any response to the discovery requests within the time specified in the Code of Civil Procedure.

2. Motion to Compel Further Responses: This motion is appropriate when the responding party provides incomplete, evasive, or inadequate responses to the discovery requests.

In your case, since the defendant has now provided responses (albeit unverified and containing boilerplate objections), the appropriate action would be to file a motion to compel further responses.

As for the hearing date and procedure:

1. You should file a separate motion to compel further responses, rather than withdrawing the original motion to compel discovery and replacing it with the new motion.

2. You can request the court to hear both motions on the same date, as they are related to the same discovery dispute. This is a common practice to conserve judicial resources and time.

3. If you have other unrelated motions, it is generally advisable to book separate hearing dates for each motion to avoid confusion and to ensure that each motion receives adequate attention from the court.

When filing the motion to compel further responses, be sure to include a meet and confer declaration, demonstrating that you have made a reasonable and good faith attempt to resolve the discovery dispute informally before seeking court intervention, as required by the California Code of Civil Procedure.

Remember, this information is for general guidance purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. It is always best to consult with a licensed California attorney for specific advice on your case.

Delaram Keshvarian
Delaram Keshvarian
  • Orange, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Keep the current hearing and fillings. You don't have to file another motion to compel further answers until hearing. Use the uncertified answer as additional evidence. Meet and confer before that about the verification. You may file for sanctions.

If after your motion to compel gets granted, the opposing counsel again does not comply fully (payroll answer), you can file for motion to compel for further answers and sanctions.

This is merely a discussion of general laws and not legal advice. For legal advice, more specific facts and investigations are needed. I recommend you consult with an attorney for more details.

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