Response to Request for Production in California Superior Court–At A Glance

Use this At A Glance Guide to learn the statewide rules of civil procedure, (the California Code of Civil Procedure and California Rules of Court) applicable to responses to requests for production in the California Superior Courts. For more detailed information, including local rules, on responses to requests for production in a specific California Superior Court, please see the SmartRules California Response to Request for Production Guides for the court where your action is pending.

Timing:

Responses to requests for production are due within thirty (30) days (five (5) days in unlawful detainer actions) if the requests were personally served, thirty-five (35) days if the requests were served by mail, and thirty (30) days plus two (2) court days if the requests were served by express mail or facsimile or electronically. CCP § 2031.260(a). (amended eff 6/29/09); CCP § 1013; CRC 2.260 (renumbered eff 1/1/07).

Unless, on motion of the party making the demand, the court has shortened the time for response, or unless on motion of the party to whom the demand has been directed, the court has extended the time for response. CCP § 2031.260(a). (amended eff 6/29/09).

Service may be made by fax on written agreement of the parties. CRC 2.306(a)(renumbered eff 1/1/08). Fax service completed after 5 p.m. is deemed to have occurred on the next court day. CRC 2.306(g)(renumbered eff 1/1/08).

The party demanding inspection, copying, testing, or sampling and the responding party may agree to extend the date for the inspection, copying, testing, or sampling or the time for service of a response to a set of demands, or to particular items or categories of items in a set, to a date or dates beyond those provided in Sections 2031.030, 2031.210, 2031.260, and 2031.280. CCP § 2031.270(a). (amended eff 6/29/09).

This agreement may be informal, but it shall be confirmed in a writing that specifies the extended date for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling, or for the service of a response. CCP § 2031.270(b). (amended eff 6/29/09).

Unless this agreement expressly states otherwise, it is effective to preserve to the responding party the right to respond to any item or category of item in the demand to which the agreement applies in any manner specified in Sections 2031.210, 2031.220, 2031.230, 2031.240, and 2031.280. CCP § 2031.270(c). (amended eff 6/29/09).

Response to Request for Production Rules:

The party to whom a demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling has been directed shall respond separately to each item or category of item by any of the following:

(1) A statement that the party will comply with the particular demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling by the date set for the inspection, copying, testing, or sampling pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 2031.030 and any related activities.

(2) A representation that the party lacks the ability to comply with the demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling of a particular item or category of item.

(3) An objection to the particular demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling.

CCP § 2031.210(a). (amended eff 6/29/09).

If a party objects to the discovery of electronically stored information on the grounds that it is from a source that is not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or expense and that the responding party will not search the source in the absence of an agreement with the demanding party or court order, the responding party shall identify in its response the types or categories of sources of electronically stored information that it asserts are not reasonably accessible. By objecting and identifying information of a type or category of source or sources that are not reasonably accessible, the responding party preserves any objections it may have relating to that electronically stored information. CCP § 2031.210(d). (eff 6/29/09).

A statement that the party to whom a demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling has been directed will comply with the particular demand shall state that the production, inspection, copying, testing, or sampling, and related activity demanded, will be allowed either in whole or in part, and that all documents or things in the demanded category that are in the possession, custody, or control of that party and to which no objection is being made will be included in the production. CCP § 2031.220. (amended eff 6/29/09).

A representation of inability to comply must affirm that a diligent search and a reasonable inquiry has been made. This statement must specify whether the inability to comply is because the particular item or category has never existed, has been destroyed, has been lost, misplaced, or stolen, or has never been, or is no longer, in the possession, custody, or control of the responding party. The statement must set forth the name and address of any natural person or organization known or believed by that party to have possession, custody, or control of that item or category of item. CCP § 2031.230. (amended eff 6/29/09).

If only part of an item in a demand is objectionable, the response must contain a statement of compliance, or a representation of inability to comply with respect to the remainder of that item or category. CCP § 2031.240(a). (amended eff 6/29/09).

If the responding party objects to the demand, the response shall do both of the following:

(1) Identify with particularity any document, tangible thing, land, or electronically stored information falling within any category of item in the demand.

(2) Set forth clearly the extent of, and the specific ground for, the objection. If an objection is based on a claim of privilege, the particular privilege invoked must be stated. If an objection is based on a claim that the information sought is protected work product under Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 2018.010), that claim must be expressly asserted.

CCP § 2031.240(b). (amended eff 6/29/09).

If a party to whom a demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling is directed fails to serve a timely response to it,the party to whom the demand is directed waives any objection to the demand, including one based on privilege or on the protection for work product. The court, on motion, may relieve that party from this waiver on its determination that both of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) The party has subsequently served a response that is in substantial compliance with Sections 2031.210, 2031.220, 2031.230, 2031.240, and 2031.280.

(2) The party’s failure to serve a timely response was the result of mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect.

CCP § 2031.300(a). (amended eff 6/29/09).

The party making the demand may move for an order compelling response to the demand. CCP § 2031.300(b). (amended eff 6/29/09).

The court must impose a monetary sanction against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel a response to a demand, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust. If a party then fails to obey the order compelling a response, the court may make those orders that are just, including the imposition of an issue sanction, an evidence sanction, or a terminating sanction. In lieu of or in addition to this sanction, the court may impose a monetary sanction. CCP § 2031.300(c). (amended eff 6/29/09).

Absent exceptional circumstances, the court must not impose sanctions on a party or any attorney of a party for failure to provide electronically stored information that has been lost, damaged, altered, or overwritten as a result of the routine, good faith operation of an electronic information system. CCP § 2031.300(d)(1). (amended eff 6/29/09).

This subdivision shall not be construed to alter any obligation to preserve discoverable information. CCP § 2031.300(d)(2). (amended eff 6/29/09).

If electronically stored information produced in discovery is subject to a claim of privilege or of protection as attorney work product,the party making the claim may notify any party that received the information of the claim and the basis for the claim. CCP § 2031.285(a). (added eff 6/29/09).

After being notified of a claim of privilege or of protection, a party that received the information shall immediately sequester the information and either return the specified information and any copies that may exist or present the information to the court conditionally under seal for a determination of the claim. CCP § 2031.285(b). (added eff 6/29/09).

Prior to the resolution of the motion brought under subdivision (d), a party shall be precluded from using or disclosing the specified information until the claim of privilege is resolved. CCP § 2031.285(c)(1). (added eff 6/29/09).

A party who received and disclosed the information before being notified of a claim of privilege or of protection under subdivision (a) shall, after that notification, immediately take reasonable steps to retrieve the information. CCP § 2031.285(c)(2). (added eff 6/29/09).

If the receiving party contests the legitimacy of a claim of privilege or protection, he or she may seek a determination of the claim from the court by making a motion within 30 days of receiving the claim and presenting the information to the court conditionally under seal. CCP § 2031.285(d)(1). (added eff 6/29/09).

Until the legitimacy of the claim of privilege or protection is resolved, the receiving party shall preserve the information and keep it confidential and shall be precluded from using the information in any manner. CCP § 2031.285(d)(2). (added eff 6/29/09).

In the first paragraph of the response immediately below the title of the case, there shall appear the identity of the responding party, the set number, and the identity of the demanding party. CCP § 2031.210(b). (amended eff 6/29/09).

Each statement of compliance, each representation, and each objection in the response shall bear the same number and be in the same sequence as the corresponding item or category in the demand, but the text of that item or category need not be repeated. CCP § 2031.210(c). (amended eff 6/29/09).

Responses to supplemental requests must include, immediately below the title of the case, the identity of the propounding and responding parties, the set number and the nature of the discovery to which response is made. CRC 3.1000(a) (renumbered eff 1/1/07). Each supplemental response must be identified with the same number or letter and be in the same order as the request to which it responds. CRC 3.1000(b) (renumbered eff 1/1/07).

Within 30 days after service of a demand, the party to whom the demand is directed shall serve the original of the response on the party making the demand, and a copy of the response on all other parties who have appeared in the action, unless on motion the court has shortened or extended the time for response. CCP § 2031.260(a). (amended and renumbered eff 6/29/09).

The inspection demand and the response to it must not be filed with the court. CCP § 2031.290(a). (amended eff 6/29/09); CRC 3.250(a) and (b) (renumbered eff 1/1/07).

The date specified for production must be at least thirty (30) days (five (5) days for unlawful detainer actions) from the service of the demand, thirty-five (35) days if service was made by mail and thirty (30) days plus two (2) court days if service was made by express mail or fax. CCP § 2031.030(c)(2). (amended eff 6/29/09); CCP § 1013.

The court for good cause shown may grant leave to specify an earlier date. CCP § 2031.030(c)(2). (amended eff 6/29/09).

Specify a reasonable place for making the inspection, copying, testing, or sampling, and performing any related activity. CCP § 2031.030(c)(3). (amended eff 6/29/09).

Specify any inspection, copying, testing, sampling, or related activity that is being demanded, as well as the manner in which that activity will be performed, and whether that activity will permanently alter or destroy the item involved. CCP § 2031.030(c)(4). (amended eff 6/29/09).

Any documents produced in response to a demand must either be produced as they are kept in the usual course of business, or be organized and labeled to correspond with the categories in the demand. CCP § 2031.280(a). (amended eff 6/29/09).

The documents must be produced on the date specified in the demand, unless an objection has been made to that date. If the date for inspection has been extended, the documents must be produced on the date agreed to. CCP § 2031.280(b). (eff 6/29/09).

If a party responding to a demand for production of electronically stored information objects to a specified form for producing the information, or if no form is specified, the responding party must state in its response the form in which it intends to produce each type of information. CCP § 2031.280(c). (eff 6/29/09).

Unless the parties otherwise agree or the court otherwise orders, the following shall apply:

(1) If a demand for production does not specify a form or forms for producing a type of electronically stored information, the responding party must produce the information in the form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a form that is reasonably usable.

(2) A party need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form.

CCP § 2031.280(d). (eff 6/29/09).

If necessary, the responding party at the reasonable expense of the demanding party must, through detection devices, translate any data compilations included in the demand into reasonably usable form. CCP § 2031.280(b)(e). (renumbered eff 6/29/09).

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