Note: See SmartRules guides for complete and up-to-date Notice of Deposition requirements for the California Superior Courts.
Use this “At A Glance Guide” to learn the statewide rules of civil procedure Notice of Deposition in the California Superior Courts. For more detailed information, including continuously updated local rules, please see the California Superior Court SmartRules Notice of Deposition guides for the court where your action is pending.
Notice of Deposition
A defendant may serve a deposition notice without leave of court at any time.
A plaintiff may serve a deposition notice without leave of court at any time after twenty (20) days after service of the summons on, or appearance by, any defendant. However, on motion with or without notice, the court, for good cause shown, may grant to a plaintiff leave to serve a deposition notice on an earlier date.
Specific timing requirements also apply to:
- Oral Depositions
- Oral Depositions in Unlawful Detainer Actions
- Orders Shortening or Extending Time
Notice of Deposition Rules
If the deponent is a natural person or an organization that is a party to the action, the deposition must be taken within seventy-five (75) miles of the deponent’s residence or principal place of business in California, or within the county where the action is pending and within 150 miles of the residence or principal place of business. If the deponent is a non-party organization, the deposition must take place within seventy-five (75) miles of the organization’s principal business office in California, unless the organization consents to a different location.
A party may obtain copies of business records from a non-party by serving a subpoena for business records on the custodian of records.
The deposition of an organization is treated as one deposition even though more than one person may be required to testify.
SmartRules guides also cover the following Notice of Deposition requirements:
- When Notice is not Required
- Deposition by Telephone
- Preemption of Local Rules
- Local Deposition Guidelines
- Non-Party Witnesses
- Additional Local Requirements
- Filing and Service
Originally posted June 22, 2009