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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/14/2019 at 09:26:27 (UTC).

THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY VS CITY OF POMONA

Case Summary

On 09/05/2014 THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY filed an Other - Injunction lawsuit against CITY OF POMONA. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Pomona Courthouse South located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are DUKES, ROBERT A. and PETER A. HERNANDEZ. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7113

  • Filing Date:

    09/05/2014

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Other - Injunction

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Pomona Courthouse South

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

DUKES, ROBERT A.

PETER A. HERNANDEZ

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY INC. THE

HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY INC.

Defendant

POMONA CITY OF

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

LUTZ BONNIE L.

Defendant Attorney

LAM RICHARD H. ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Legacy Document

9/8/2014: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

9/12/2014: Legacy Document

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

11/4/2014: Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Declaration

11/4/2014: Declaration

Request for Judicial Notice

11/4/2014: Request for Judicial Notice

Legacy Document

11/14/2014: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

11/14/2014: Legacy Document

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

11/19/2014: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Legacy Document

11/25/2014: Legacy Document

Case Management Statement

1/13/2015: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

1/13/2015: Case Management Statement

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

6/16/2015: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice

8/19/2015: Notice

Minute Order

10/20/2015: Minute Order

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

1/21/2016: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice of Settlement

4/21/2016: Notice of Settlement

Legacy Document

5/4/2016: Legacy Document

Declaration

6/24/2019: Declaration

72 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/29/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department O at 400 Civic Center Plaza, Pomona, CA 91766; Hearing on Motion to Enforce Settlement

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  • 07/18/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Enforce Settlement - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 07/02/2019
  • DocketNotice (of Continued Hearing Date); Filed by HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY INC., (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/24/2019
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY INC., (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/24/2019
  • DocketNotice of Motion (and Motion for Enforcement Settlement Agreement Pursuant to code of Civil Procedure Section 664.6); Filed by HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY INC., (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/24/2019
  • DocketDeclaration (in support of motion); Filed by HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY INC., (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/24/2019
  • DocketDeclaration (in support of motion); Filed by HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY INC., (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/24/2019
  • DocketNotice of Lodging (exhibits); Filed by HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY INC., (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/09/2016
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department O; (OSC-Failure to File Dism. or Judg.; Dismissed by Court) -

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  • 06/09/2016
  • DocketMinute order entered: 2016-06-09 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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93 More Docket Entries
  • 10/10/2014
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by POMONA, CITY OF (Defendant)

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  • 09/16/2014
  • DocketRtn of Service of Summons & Compl

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  • 09/12/2014
  • DocketNotice; Filed by Subject Person

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  • 09/12/2014
  • DocketNotice

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  • 09/12/2014
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY INC., (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/08/2014
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/08/2014
  • DocketOSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/05/2014
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint)

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  • 09/05/2014
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY INC., (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/05/2014
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by HUMANE SOCIETY OF POMONA VALLEY INC., (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: KC067113    Hearing Date: March 03, 2021    Dept: O

After hearing, Defendant City of Pomona’s Motion to Compel Plaintiff The Humane Society of Pomona Valley’s responses to request for Form Interrogatories, Set One, is DENIED. No sanctions.

Defendant City of Pomona (“Defendant”) moves the court to compel Plaintiff The Humane Society of Pomona Valley (“Plaintiff”) to further respond to one specific interrogatory in Defendant’s Form Interrogatories, Set One (“Request”). Defendant also seeks monetary sanctions of $2,200.00 against Plaintiff and its counsel.

Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.300 allows a party to file a motion compelling further answers to interrogatories if it finds that the response is inadequate, incomplete, or evasive, or an objection in the response is without merit or too general. The motion shall be accompanied with a meet and confer declaration. (CCP § 2030.300(b).)

Each answer in the response must be “as complete and straightforward as the information reasonably available to the responding party permits. If an interrogatory cannot be answered completely, it shall be answered to the extent possible.” (CCP § 2030.220(a),(b).)

Request at Issue

The request at issue in this motion seeks a further response to Form Interrogatory 9.1.

Defendant contends that Plaintiff’s Response to the Requests (“Response”) was not code compliant. Particularly, Defendant contends that the Response is “confusing, unclear, contradictory and incomplete.”

Plaintiff contends that the Response was complete and code-compliant. Furthermore, this motion is unwarranted because Defendant failed to meet and confer before bringing this motion.

The court agrees with Plaintiff that the Response was complete and code-compliant. In fact, Defendant’s inclusion of “Other Discovery Responses Necessitating The Need for Further Responses” only obfuscates the issue before this court, which is only as to Form Interrogatory 9.1. At the hearing, Defendant requested the court review Plaintiff’s Response to Form Interrogatory 9.1(c). The court had done so and finds the Response that the amount of damages is still under investigation adequate for purposes of this motion. Moreover, Defendant does not provide sufficient information for the court to determine that the answer was not a complete one so as to order that “it shall be answered to the extent possible.” (CCP § 2030.220(a),(b).) Clearly, the court expects that prior to the trial on the issue of damages, Plaintiff will provide the “amount” of monetary damages it is seeking and evidence in support of such request. However, the court will not compel a further answer because the Response is adequate.

Furthermore, Defendant does not provide any legally cognizable arguments as to why the Response to Form Interrogatory 9.1 is insufficient apart from any possible contradiction it may have with other discovery responses. If Defendant does not agree with the Response and finds it contradictory, then Defendant is free to raise that issue at trial during presentation of evidence. A discovery motion is not designed to contest the truth of the responses, but to only compel a party to provide a code-compliant response to the discovery requests. Here, Plaintiff has done so. A discovery motion hearing is not the time or place for the court to make a determination as to the veracity of the any responses.

Thus, Defendant’s motion is DENIED.

Sanctions

Section 2030.300(d) authorizes the court to impose a sanction against any party/attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel further responses, 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.

Both Defendant and Plaintiff requested sanctions against each other for this motion. Because Plaintiff is the successful party to this motion, the court will therefore address whether Plaintiff is entitled to sanctions against Defendant.

Plaintiff requests sanctions on the basis that Defendant improperly brought this motion without first properly meeting and conferring, and bringing this motion in bad faith. However, Plaintiff admits that the meet and confer letter did raise the issue. (Declaration of Tiffany Scarborough, ¶ 12, Ex. B.) Therefore, no sanctions will be imposed.

After hearing, Plaintiff The Humane Society of Pomona Valley’s Motion to Compel Defendant City of Pomona’s responses to request for Request for Admissions, Set Two, is GRANTED. Sanctions are imposed against Defendant and its counsel in the reasonable amount of $1,851.65 payable within 30 days. The responses will also be provided within 30 days of this order.

Plaintiff The Humane Society of Pomona Valley (“Plaintiff”) moves the court to compel Defendant City of Pomona (“Defendant”) to further respond to Plaintiff’s Requests for Admission (“RFA”), Set Two (“Requests”). Plaintiff also seeks monetary sanctions of $3,636.65 against Defendant and its counsel.

Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.290 allows a party to file a motion compelling further answers to request for admissions if it finds that the response is inadequate, incomplete, or evasive, or an objection in the response is without merit or too general. The motion shall be accompanied with a meet and confer declaration. (CCP § 2033.290(b).)

Each answer in the response must be “as complete and straightforward as the information reasonably available to the responding party permits.” (CCP § 2033.220, subd. (a).) Each answer shall do one of the following: (1) admit so much of the matter involved in the request as is true, either as expressed in the request itself or as reasonably and clearly qualified by the responding party; (2) deny so much of the matter involved in the request as is untrue; or (3) specify so much of the matter involved in the request as to the truth of which the responding party lacks sufficient information or knowledge. (CCP § 2033.220, subd. (b).) If a responding party gives lack of information or knowledge as a reason for a failure to admit all or part of a request for admission, that party shall state in the answer that a reasonable inquiry concerning the matter in the particular request has been made, and that the information known or readily obtainable is insufficient to enable that part to admit the matter. (CCP § 2033.220, subd. (c).)

Requests at Issue

The requests at issue in this motion seek further responses to RFA Nos. 21-24, 29-32.

Plaintiff contends that Defendant’s Responses to the Requests (“Responses”) were not code compliant because the Responses are either confusing or misnumbered. Plaintiff contends that Responses to RFA No. 21 is confusing, and Defendant refused to admit or deny RFA Nos. 30-32. Furthermore, all the Responses, except the Response to RFA No. 21, are misnumbered. Plaintiff attempted to meet and confer about fixing this issue to clarify Defendant’s Responses, but Defendant refused. (Declaration of Tiffany Scarborough, ¶¶ 7-8, Ex. F.) At the hearing, Defendant wanted the court to revise the Responses for Nos. 21, 31-32.

Misnumbered Response

Defendant contends that while it refused to renumber the Responses in its supplemental response, it provided the text of each Request for Admission.  However, that would not resolve any ambiguity for the use of these discovery responses at trial, and would in fact lead to more confusion. Thus, Defendant is ordered to provide code compliant supplemental responses to Plaintiff’s RFA Nos. 22-24, 29-32 by properly numbering them to correspond to the correct Requests as Plaintiff has enumerated.

RFA No. 21

Defendant offers no opposition regarding its deficient responses to RFA No. 21 (“Admit that IVHS has suffered no harm as a result of YOUR failure to meet the reach 80dBA peak requirement agreed upon in the SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.”). At the hearing, Defendant invited the court to speculate as to the timing concerning the response. The court will not accept such invitation as the RFA at issue is clear. Thus, Defendant is ordered to provide code compliant supplemental responses to this Request by either (1) admitting, (2) denying, or (3) stating it lacks sufficient information or knowledge. (CCP § 2033.220, subd. (b).) If Defendant gives lack of information or knowledge as a reason for a failure to admit all or part of a request for admission, it shall only then state in the answer that a reasonable inquiry concerning the matter in the particular request has been made, and that the information known or readily obtainable is insufficient to enable that part to admit the matter. (CCP § 2033.220, subd. (c).)

RFA Nos. 31-32

None of these Responses state whether Defendant admits, denies, or lacks knowledge. (See RFA Nos. 31-32 (“Admit that YOU are not requiring outside agencies or individuals to use silencers on weapons they shoot at the shooting range.” and “Admit that pursuant to Paragraph 4a of the SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT, YOU have an obligation to cooperate with IVHS in obtaining all necessary permits and inspections related to the development of the “New Easement” road.”).)

At the court hearing, Defendant sought the court to revisit the relevancy of the RFA Nos. 31-32 with respect to the damage portion of the upcoming trial. The inquiry into whether silencers are being used by outside agencies or whether to cooperation between the parties is necessary to the development of the “New Easement” road may, at first glance, be of minimal relevancy. However, “[t]he Civil Discovery Act provides litigants with the right to broad discovery. . . . The statutory provisions must be liberally construed in favor of discovery[.]” (Sinaiko Healthcare Consulting, Inc. v. Pacific Healthcare Consultants (2017) 148 Cal.App.4th 390, 402.) To the extent such inquiries relate to seeking to determine the scope of damages by providing evidence that noise mitigation is not fully embraced or the delay in the “New Easement” road prevents those same mitigation efforts may provide Plaintiff evidence or lead to admissible evidence. The court will not interfere in such efforts. (Id. (“Civil discovery is intended to operate with a minimum of judicial intervention.”).)

While the Court appreciates that Defendant attempt to seek clarification as to what it views as ambiguous or irrelevant in Plaintiff’s Requests, Defendant still needs to state whether it either:  (1) admits, (2) denies, or (3) lacks sufficient information or knowledge; as one of these three responses is required by the Discovery Act. (CCP § 2033.220, subd. (b).) Thus, Defendant is to provide code compliant supplemental responses as to RFA Nos. 21-24, 29-32 within 30 days.

Motion is GRANTED.

Sanctions

Section 2030.300(d) authorizes the court to impose a sanction against any party/attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel further responses, 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.

Sanctions are imposed against Defendant in the reasonable adjusted amount of $1,851.65 (5 hours at $355 plus filing fees), payable within 30 days.

After hearing, Plaintiff The Humane Society of Pomona Valley’s Motion to Compel Defendant City of Pomona’s responses to request for Request for Special Interrogatories, Set Two, is GRANTED. Sanctions are imposed against Defendant and its counsel in the reasonable amount of $1,851.65 payable within 30 days.

Plaintiff The Humane Society of Pomona Valley (“Plaintiff”) moves the court to compel Defendant City of Pomona (“Defendant”) to further respond to Plaintiff’s Special Interrogatories, Set Two (“Requests”). Plaintiff also seeks monetary sanctions of $8,241.65 against Defendant and its counsel.

Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.300 allows a party to file a motion compelling further answers to interrogatories if it finds that the response is inadequate, incomplete, or evasive, or an objection in the response is without merit or too general. The motion shall be accompanied with a meet and confer declaration. (CCP § 2030.300(b).)

Each answer in the response must be “as complete and straightforward as the information reasonably available to the responding party permits. If an interrogatory cannot be answered completely, it shall be answered to the extent possible.” (CCP § 2030.220(a),(b).)

Requests at Issue

The requests at issue in this motion involve Requests Nos. 36-38, 40-74. These Requests relate to Defendant’s position that Plaintiff has suffered no harm.

Plaintiff contends that Defendant’s Responses to the Requests (“Responses”) were evasive and non-responsive, and the objections in the Responses lacked merit. Furthermore Plaintiff again contends that Defendant’s Responses were misnumbered so that the numbering on the further responses do not correspond with the number of the actual interrogatories.

As an initial matter, Defendant is again ordered to provide code compliant supplemental responses to Plaintiff’s Requests by properly numbering them to correspond to the correct Requests as Plaintiff has enumerated. The Responses, as they stand, are ambiguous for their use at trial and would only lead to confusion.

Defendant contends that the Requests were not reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence. Defendant attempts to frame some of these issues merely as whether Defendant failed to comply with the terms of the Settlement Agreement with respect to reducing the noise level to a maximum of 80 dBA, an issue that the court already stated that Defendant failed to do, but the court refuses to apply this narrow interpretation. A resolution of the issue of whether Defendant breached the Settlement Agreement for failing to reduce the noise level to a maximum 80 dBA level does not automatically resolve the remaining issue concerning damages. Defendant has not shown that the Requests do not seek evidence related to whether Defendant’s actions would lend to any mitigation or aggravation of Plaintiff’s damages.

Defendant also does not provide any legally cognizable arguments as to why these Requests are not reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence. Defendant merely points to the prior two-day deposition of Defendant as its only reason but does not provide if this explanation is that Plaintiff already has his answer, or if Defendant is asserting the Requests are burdensome. As the parties are well aware, the scope of discovery is quite broad and any party may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action if the matter either is itself admissible in evidence or appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. (CCP § 2017.010; See Williams v. Superior Court (2017) 3 Cal.5th 531, 541.) Thus, objections asserting the request is vague, ambiguous or overbroad are generally not valid objections. Likewise, only claims of undue burden or oppression are valid. (See Perkins v. Superior Court (1981) 118 Cal.App.3d 761, 764.) Under these higher standards, the party opposing the motion must show that the quantum of work required by responding party is unreasonable, or that the effect of the burden is incommensurate with the results sought. (West Pico Furniture Co. of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (Los Angeles) (1961) 56 Cal.2d 407, 417.) Defendant has failed to do just that in its Opposition.

After the hearing, the court revisited Responses Nos. 42 (“State every reason why YOU determined that silencers should be purchased for the City of Pomona Police Department.”), 45 (“If it is YOUR contention that noise from gunfire is not harmful to human beings, please state each basis for your contention.”), 48 (“If it is YOUR contention that noise from gunfire is not harmful to animals, please state each basis for your contention.”) and 51 (“If it is YOUR contention that noise from gunfire at the SHOOTING RANGE does not cause the dogs at IVHS animal shelter to bark, please state each basis for your contention.”) as urged by Defendant. Each of these Requests is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. (CCP § 2017.010.) For example, assuming the answer to Response No. 42 is ADMIT, one could logically argue that such purchase could be to lower the dBA by attaching such silencers and, consequently, a recognition that the dBA goals agreed to were not met by Defendant. The court will not provide further hypotheticals because it is clear that code-complaint response is warranted.

Thus, Plaintiff’s motion shall be GRANTED and Defendant is ordered to provide further code compliant responses Requests Nos. 36-38, 40-74 within 30 days.

Sanctions

Section 2030.300(d) authorizes the court to impose a sanction against any party/attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel further responses, 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.

Sanctions are imposed against Defendant in the reasonable adjusted amount of $1,851.65 (see above calculation), payable within 30 days.

After hearing, Plaintiff The Humane Society of Pomona Valley’s Motion to Compel Defendant City of Pomona’s responses to request for Request for Form Interrogatories, Set Two, is GRANTED. Sanctions are imposed against Defendant and its counsel in the reasonable amount of $1,851.65 payable within 30 days.

Plaintiff The Humane Society of Pomona Valley (“Plaintiff”) moves the court to compel Defendant City of Pomona (“Defendant”) to further respond to Plaintiff’s Form Interrogatories, Set Two (“Requests”). Plaintiff also seeks monetary sanctions of $3,636.65 against Defendant and its counsel.

Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.300 allows a party to file a motion compelling further answers to interrogatories if it finds that the response is inadequate, incomplete, or evasive, or an objection in the response is without merit or too general. The motion shall be accompanied with a meet and confer declaration. (CCP § 2030.300(b).)

Each answer in the response must be “as complete and straightforward as the information reasonably available to the responding party permits. If an interrogatory cannot be answered completely, it shall be answered to the extent possible.” (CCP § 2030.220(a),(b).)

Requests at Issue

The Requests at issue in this motion are Form Interrogatory Nos. 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6, 12.7, and 17.1.

Plaintiff contends that Defendant’s Responses to these Requests (“Responses”) were not full, complete, nor code complaint. Defendant responded that it was unable to respond to the interrogatories because “[Plaintiff] has not provided [Defendant] with any concrete damage theories or amounts.

Form Interrogatory No. 17.1

As an initial matter, the Court notes that Plaintiff’s issue with Request No. 17.1 has to again do with Defendant’s misnumbering of the underlying RFAs. As already previously ruled, the Responses, as they stand, are ambiguous for their use at trial and would only lead to confusion. Thus, Defendant is ordered to provide code compliant supplemental responses consistent with its supplemental responses to the RFAs.

Form Interrogatory Nos. 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6, 12.7

Defendant contends in its Opposition that Plaintiff’s definition of “INCIDENT” is ambiguous, vague, or confusing where it cannot provide a complete response. Defendant states that it “cannot provide information or discovery responses on damages it is not aware of.” (Opposition, 8:21-22.) The court, however, also critically notes in this assertion an admission that Defendant failed to provide any alternative definition of “INCIDENT”. Defendant easily could have unilaterally defined “INCIDENT” to what it believed was a reasonable definition that would be within the scope of this case. Not only is this allowed under the Discovery Act (see CCP § 2030.220), but would have also demonstrated to the court Defendant’s good faith and reasonableness. Instead, Defendant chose to refuse to supplement its Responses.

At the hearing, Defendant sought the court to define the term “INCIDENT” as set forth in the Form Interrogatories. Clearly for purposes of the current state of discovery, the parties are collecting evidence that may assist them in preparation for a trial concerning the Defendant’s breach of the Settlement Agreement and the damages, if any, associated with that breach. To suggest that further guidance is necessary to appropriately and completely respond is unwarranted given the role the Discovery Act plays in gathering information that is relevant or reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence and the scope of this litigation’s next phase. In other words, Defendant should know better what the term “INCIDENT” in the instant motion refers to but to the extent it does not, Defendant is more than capable of a reasonable definition for the term “INCIDENT.”

Thus, Plaintiff’s motion shall be GRANTED and Defendant is ordered to provide further code compliant responses to Form Interrogatories Nos. 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6, 12.7, and 17.1 within 30 days.

Sanctions

Section 2030.300(d) authorizes the court to impose a sanction against any party/attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel further responses, 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.

Sanctions are imposed against Defendant in the reasonable adjusted amount of $1,851.65 (see calculation above), payable within 30 days.

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