On 04/19/2018 a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle case was filed by MANUEL MARTINEZ against MICHAEL DOKUNMU in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
DOES 1 TO 20
7/1/2019: Statement of Damages (Personal Injury or Wrongful Death)
4/19/2018: PLAINTIFF MANUEL MARTINEZ' COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
Complaint; Filed by Manuel Martinez (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
PLAINTIFF MANUEL MARTINEZ' COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGESRead MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC702714 Hearing Date: February 13, 2020 Dept: 28
Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One)
Having considered the moving papers, the Court rules as follows.
On April 19, 2016, Plaintiff Manuel Martinez (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Michael Dokunmu (“Defendant”) alleging negligence and negligence per se for an automobile collision that occurred on April 25, 2016.
On December 6, 2019, Defendant filed motions to compel Plaintiff to provide verified responses without objections to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure sections 2030.290 and 2031.300.
Trial is set for April 9, 2020.
Defendant asks the Court to compel Plaintiff to serve verified responses without objections to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production of Documents (All Set One) due to Plaintiff’s failure to serve timely responses.
Defendant also asks the Court to impose $1,055 in monetary sanctions against Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s counsel of record for their abuse of the discovery process.
If a party to whom interrogatories are directed fails to serve a timely response, the propounding party may move for an order compelling responses and for a monetary sanction. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2030.290, subd. (b).) The statute contains no time limit for a motion to compel where no responses have been served. All that need be shown in the moving papers is that a set of interrogatories was properly served on the opposing party, that the time to respond has expired, and that no response of any kind has been served. (See Leach v. Superior Court (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 902, 905-906.)
Where there has been no timely response to a demand for the production of documents, the demanding party may seek an order compelling a response. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2031.300, subd. (b).) Failure to timely respond waives all objections, including privilege and work product. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2031.300, subd. (a).) Thus, unless the party to whom the demand was directed obtains relief from waiver, he or she cannot raise objections to the documents demanded. There is no deadline for a motion to compel responses. Likewise, for failure to respond, the moving party need not attempt to resolve the matter outside court before filing the motion.
Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subd. (a), “[t]he court may impose a monetary sanction ordering that one engaging in the misuse of the discovery process, or any attorney advising that conduct, or both pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. . . . If a monetary sanction is authorized by any provision of this title, the court shall impose that sanction 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.” Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery is a misuse of the discovery process. (Code of Civ. Proc. § 2023.010.)
Sanctions are mandatory in connection with motions to compel responses to interrogatories and requests for production of documents against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel unless the court “finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2030.290, subd. (c), 2031.300, subd. (c).)
California Rules of Court, rule 3.1348, subdivision (a) states: “The court may award sanctions under the Discovery Act in favor of a party who files a motion to compel discovery, even though no opposition to the motion was filed, or opposition to the motion was withdrawn, or the requested discovery was provided to the moving party after the motion was filed.”
On September 10, 2019, Defendant served Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) on Plaintiff by U.S. mail. (All Three Declarations of Brooke Y. Park, Esq. (“Park Decl.”), ¶ 2, Exh. A.) Defendant granted two extensions for Plaintiff to provide the outstanding responses, providing an ultimate deadline of on November 7, 2019. (Park Decl., ¶¶ 4-5, Exh. B-C.) Plaintiff has not provided the outstanding responses. (Park Decl., ¶ 6.)
The Court finds the motions are properly granted. Defendant served the discovery on Plaintiff and Plaintiff failed to serve timely responses.
Defendant’s request for $1,055 in sanctions for these nearly duplicative and straight-forward motions is unreasonable. Rather, the Court finds $550 to be a reasonable amount of sanctions to be imposed against Plaintiff and her counsel, jointly and severally, for filing the unopposed moving papers.
The motions are GRANTED.
Plaintiff is ordered to serve verified responses without objections to Defendant’s Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, Request for Production (All Set One) within 20 days of this ruling.
Plaintiff and his counsel of record are ordered to pay $550, jointly and severally, to Defendant within 30 days of this ruling.
Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.