This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/27/2020 at 05:16:08 (UTC).

OSCAR RIDEAU VS SMART & FINAL LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 04/05/2018 OSCAR RIDEAU filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against SMART FINAL LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Pomona Courthouse South located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH and PETER A. HERNANDEZ. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0926

  • Filing Date:

    04/05/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Pomona Courthouse South

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH

PETER A. HERNANDEZ

 

Party Details

Defendants, Respondents, Cross Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

SMART & FINAL STORES LLC

SMART & FINAL PROPERTIES I LLC

SMART & FINAL LLC

DOES 1-100

THE BREAD FACTORY ARTISANS INC.

RIDEAU OSCAR

FRAUSTO JAVEN

THE BREAD FACTORY INC.

Minor and Cross Defendant

RIDEAU OSCAR

Guardian Ad Litem and Cross Defendant

FRAUSTO JAVEN

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

SCHRADER DANIEL PAUL

CLANCEY CLIFFORD

Cross Defendant Attorney

SUTLIAN-MARDIKIAN ELIZABETH GRACE

Minor Attorney

GEOULLA DANIEL D. ESQ.

Other Attorneys

GEOULLA DANIEL DANNY ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Joinder to Motion - JOINDER TO MOTION NOTICE OF JOINDER IN MOTION TO COMPEL

7/10/2020: Joinder to Motion - JOINDER TO MOTION NOTICE OF JOINDER IN MOTION TO COMPEL

Motion for Protective Order - MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER PLAINTIFF OSCAR RIDEAUS NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER PROHIBITING HIS DEPOSITION, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, LIMITING HIS TEST

5/13/2020: Motion for Protective Order - MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER PLAINTIFF OSCAR RIDEAUS NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER PROHIBITING HIS DEPOSITION, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, LIMITING HIS TEST

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER;) OF 05/14/2020

5/14/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER;) OF 05/14/2020

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER;)

3/20/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER;)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (RULING ON SUBMITTED MATTER;) OF 02/19/2020, COURT'S MODIFIED TENTATIVE RULING

2/19/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (RULING ON SUBMITTED MATTER;) OF 02/19/2020, COURT'S MODIFIED TENTATIVE RULING

Separate Statement

12/30/2019: Separate Statement

Separate Statement

12/30/2019: Separate Statement

Cross-Complaint

12/17/2019: Cross-Complaint

Answer

12/17/2019: Answer

Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF CHANGE OF DATE, TIME AND LOCATION OF DEFENDANT SMART & FINAL STORES, LLC'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM PLAINTIFF AS TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SPECIAL INTERROGATORI

11/26/2019: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF CHANGE OF DATE, TIME AND LOCATION OF DEFENDANT SMART & FINAL STORES, LLC'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM PLAINTIFF AS TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SPECIAL INTERROGATORI

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER: ORDER TRANSFERRING COMPLICATED PERSONAL INJURY (...) OF 09/26/2019

9/26/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER: ORDER TRANSFERRING COMPLICATED PERSONAL INJURY (...) OF 09/26/2019

Separate Statement

9/6/2019: Separate Statement

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF CLIFFORD A. CLANCEY

9/6/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF CLIFFORD A. CLANCEY

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF CLIFFORD A. CLANCEY

9/6/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF CLIFFORD A. CLANCEY

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

8/27/2019: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE (IDC))

7/9/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE (IDC))

Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

7/9/2019: Informal Discovery Conference Form for Personal Injury Courts

NOTICE OF REJECTION - APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

4/27/2018: NOTICE OF REJECTION - APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

59 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/03/2021
  • Hearing02/03/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department O at 400 Civic Center Plaza, Pomona, CA 91766; Case Management Conference

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  • 02/03/2021
  • Hearing02/03/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department O at 400 Civic Center Plaza, Pomona, CA 91766; Trial Setting Conference

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  • 07/23/2020
  • Docketat 11:00 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 07/23/2020
  • Docketat 11:00 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Deposition of Plaintiff) - Held - Motion Denied

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  • 07/23/2020
  • Docketat 11:00 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Deposition of Plaintiff's Guardian Ad Litem) - Held - Motion Denied

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  • 07/23/2020
  • Docketat 11:00 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other (PLAINTIFF OSCAR RIDEAU?S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER PROHIBITING HIS DEPOSITION, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, LIMITING HIS TESTIMONY, MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT, DECLARATION OF DANIEL GEOULLA, ESQ. & DECLARATION OF OSCAR RIDEAU) - Held

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  • 07/23/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 07/23/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Deposition of Plaintiff's Guardian Ad Litem) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 07/23/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Deposition of Plaintiff) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 07/23/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference; Hearing on Motion to Compel Depos...)); Filed by Clerk

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88 More Docket Entries
  • 08/17/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF REJECTION - APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

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  • 08/17/2018
  • DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM CIVIL

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  • 08/17/2018
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 06/18/2018
  • DocketPLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM-CIVIL

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  • 06/18/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF REJECTION - APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

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  • 06/18/2018
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 04/27/2018
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 04/27/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF REJECTION - APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

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  • 04/05/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by null

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  • 04/05/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC700926    Hearing Date: July 23, 2020    Dept: O

ANALYSIS

1. Defendant Smart and Final Stores, LLC’s motion to compel Plaintiff Oscar Rideau to appear and testify at deposition is DENIED.

Defendant Smart and Final Stores, LLC (“Defendant”) moves to compel Minor Plaintiff Oscar Rideau (“Plaintiff”) to appear and testify at deposition per CCP § 2025.450.

If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party, or a person designated by an organization that is a party under Section 2025.230, without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document or tangible thing described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent's attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document or tangible thing described in the deposition notice. (CCP § 2025.450(a).) The motion shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production for inspection of any document or tangible thing described in the deposition notice; and shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition and produce the documents or things described in the deposition notice, by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance. (CCP § 2025.450(b).)

CCP § 2025.410 allows for a party to the action to object as late as three calendar days before the deposition date if such objection is made through personal service.

Defendant served notice of Plaintiff’s deposition on or about February 27, 2019. (Clancey Decl., ¶ 4, Ex. A.) The deposition was to take place on April 22, 2019. (Id.) After several continuances of the deposition due to timely objections, Defendant filed this present motion.

Defendant’s motion has not set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying this Court to require Plaintiff to personally appear for a deposition. Defendant merely recounts its counsel’s efforts to meet and confer but does not explain what relevant information it seeks from Plaintiff. While Defendant contends that its ability to “properly analyze” the case and “prepare a comprehensive defense is being prejudiced,” Defendant does not explain what essential information Plaintiff, an 8-year-old minor at the time of his injury that led to this suit, might have that would shed light on the case. The only explanation Defendant provides is that it attempted to take the deposition of Plaintiff, and Plaintiff keeps objecting to the deposition mostly for scheduling conflicts.[1] At no point, however, has Plaintiff claimed that he is unwilling to participate in the deposition entirely. Again, CCP § 2025.450 puts the burden on Defendant, the moving party to this motion, to show good cause. Without more than a conclusory assertion that Plaintiff keeps objecting to the deposition, this court cannot grant the motion.

Motion DENIED.

2. Defendant Smart and Final Stores, LLC’s motion to compel deposition of Javen Frausto, guardian ad litem to minor plaintiff Oscar Rideau, to appear and testify at deposition is DENIED.

Defendant Smart and Final Stores, LLC (“Defendant”) moves to compel Javen Frausto, guardian ad litem to Minor Plaintiff Oscar Rideau, (“GAL”), to appear and testify at deposition per CCP § 2025.450.

If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party, or a person designated by an organization that is a party under Section 2025.230, without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document or tangible thing described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent's attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document or tangible thing described in the deposition notice. (CCP § 2025.450(a).) The motion shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production for inspection of any document or tangible thing described in the deposition notice; and shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition and produce the documents or things described in the deposition notice, by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance. (CCP § 2025.450(b).)

CCP § 2025.410 allows for a party to the action to object as late as three calendar days before the deposition date if such objection is made through personal service.

GAL, through Plaintiff’s counsel, contends that this motion is moot because he has already communicated dates for his deposition, but that the deposition did not move forward according to Defendant’s notice because of Defendant’s own actions.

Again, the court cannot find that Defendant has met its burden to show specific facts showing good cause that would justify this Court to compel GAL’s deposition. As a preliminary matter, the court notes that Defendant argues that GAL’s last objection to the deposition was untimely. The court finds no evidence to substantiate this contention. The objection was filed by personal service 4 days before the deposition was to take place. This fully complies with the requirements under CPP § 2025.410, and the objection is thus timely.

Defendant’s Motion also merely recounts its counsel’s efforts to meet and confer, but does not explain what relevant information it seeks from GAL. Defendant also does not explain what essential information GAL might have that would shed light on the case or even how it is prejudiced from being unable to take GAL’s deposition.[2] The only basis for this motion that Defendant provides is it attempted to take the deposition of GAL and GAL keeps objecting to the deposition mostly for scheduling conflicts. At no point, however, has GAL claimed that he is unwilling to participate in the deposition entirely. Again, CCP § 2025.450 puts the burden on Defendant, the moving party to this motion, to show good cause. Without more than a conclusory assertion that GAL keeps objecting to the deposition, this court cannot grant the motion.

Motion DENIED.

3. Plaintiff Oscar Rideau’s motion for protective order is GRANTED in part, and DENIED in part.

Plaintiff Oscar Rideau (“Plaintiff”) moves for a protective order to prevent Defendant Smart and Final Stores, LLC (“Defendant”) from taking his deposition with free rein over the questions that it can ask of him.

Under CCP § 2017.020(a), the court has the authority to limit the scope of discovery if the court determines that the burden, expense, or intrusiveness of that discovery clearly outweighs the likelihood that the information sought will lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. In considering whether the discovery is unduly burdensome or expensive, the court takes into account the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, and the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation. (CCP § 2019.030, subd. (a)(2); see People ex rel. Harris v. Sarpas (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 1539, 1552.)

Plaintiff contends that Defendant should be limited to the questions it can ask at the deposition. As a minor who is currently 15 years old, and 8 when he sustained the injuries that led to this suit, he has also lost almost all of his immediate family members and is currently in foster care. Plaintiff seeks to prohibit Defendant from asking questions about his family at the deposition. Furthermore, Plaintiff requests that the deposition be limited to 3 hours.

Plaintiff seeks these limitations based on the argument that the emotional and mental well-being of Plaintiff at deposition outweighs any beneficial information Defendants can obtain from him at deposition. Defendant contends that these limitations are unreasonable or unwarranted. The court will deal with the issue of time limit first, then the issue of whether Defendant should be prohibited from asking any questions regarding his family.

Limit Deposition to 3 Hours

Defendant has not provided any reasonable rebuttal to Plaintiff’s concerns regarding limiting the time of the deposition to 3 hours. Instead, Defendant only argues that Plaintiff failed to meet his burden. The court disagrees. Plaintiff has presented sufficient evidence that the burden, expense, or intrusiveness of that discovery clearly outweighs the likelihood that the information sought will lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Plaintiff explains that his injury at Defendant’s premises leading to this suit occurred 7 years ago. Plaintiff at the time was a minor, at the age of 8, and is still a minor presently, at the age of 15. Defendant does not deny this fact. Defendant is unlikely to extract much information that can lead to the discovery of admissible evidence from Plaintiff beyond a recounting of the events as he remembered it to the best of his ability, and subsequent effects stemming from his injury that day. The court imagines that such line of questioning should not take beyond 3 hours with respect to Plaintiff’s personal knowledge on the matter; the parties’ time may be better spent on depositions involving experts in this case. Furthermore, Defendant has not provided any reassurance either that having the full 7 hours of deposition is necessary and not being done to harass Plaintiff.

Motion on this limitation is GRANTED.

Prohibit Questions of Family at Deposition

Plaintiff’s request with respect to whether Defendant should be limited in questions about Plaintiff’s family is too broad and does not sufficiently balance Defendant’s need for information from Plaintiff versus his concerns. Plaintiff has not shown that information regarding his family is irrelevant to the case, beyond conclusory statements that they are irrelevant. While the court is sensitive to the possible emotional trauma to Plaintiff, a carte blanche prohibition also does not serve any public good. Plaintiff is bringing the case against Defendant, asserting that he has been significantly injured by Defendant and that his injuries are substantial enough to request a $1 million settlement demand. Defendant is entitled to fairly question Plaintiff about his claims against it. If a line of question reasonably leads to a discussion of his family, (e.g., whether any family members were there to witness the alleged events), a broad prohibition on any discussion of Plaintiff’s family would prejudice Defendant’s ability to prepare any meaningful defense. Without further explanation why a discussion of Plaintiff’s family is irrelevant, the court cannot grant Plaintiff’s motion protective order on this issue.

Motion on this basis is DENIED.


[1] Plaintiff also now objects based on limitations he is requesting on the deposition, but that issue will be addressed in the tentative ruling for the Protective Order below.

[2] The court is also perplexed as to why Defendant is even so adamant to depose GAL, when based on the facts presented by the parties, GAL was not even a witness to the incident leading to Plaintiff’s injury as Plaintiff wasn’t in the foster care system until sometime after the incident.

Case Number: BC700926    Hearing Date: February 19, 2020    Dept: O

1. After hearing, Defendant Smart and Final Stores, LLC’s motion to compel further discovery responses to Plaintiff’s form interrogatories, set one, is DENIED. No sanctions.

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).)

Plaintiff Oscar Rideau (“Plaintiff”) primarily relies on procedural law to challenge Defendant Smart & Final Stores, LLC’s (“Defendant”) motions. The Court notes that Plaintiff’s proofs of service for the supplemental responses were mailed and emailed on July 22, 2019, contrary to Plaintiff’s claim that they were mailed on July 19, 2019. (Clancey Decl., ¶ , Ex. E; Geoulla Decl., ¶ 6.) Additionally, at least one response was provided by Plaintiff almost a month after the motion was filed. However, the Court also notes that Defendant only sent one meet and confer letter concerning the supplemental responses a few mere days before their 45-day deadline to file a motion to compel further responses. (Clancey Decl., ¶ 9.) At the hearing, Defendant’s counsel explanation concerning the reason why the initial meet and confer letter was made three days before the motion filing deadline was unsatisfactory. While there is no hard and fast rule as to when the initial meet and confer outreach should be made within the 45-day period, the Court will not reward litigation tactics geared towards the filing of unnecessary motions. Thus, the Court cannot find that either party acted in good faith and will not impose sanctions (as to this motion and the two accompanying motions) given this conduct.

Nonetheless, the Court is in receipt of Plaintiff’s supplemental responses to Defendant’s Form Interrogatories and finds that the responses are in substantial compliance. It is uncertain as to what basis Defendant seeks further responses when Plaintiffs already answered these interrogatories. Defendant failed to state what about these responses are incomplete to warrant further responses. Without such explanation, the Court is unable to grant Defendant’s motion.

Furthermore, the Court agrees with Plaintiff regarding Form Interrogatories 8.2 and 8.8 that they are not relevant to this present case: Plaintiff is a 13-year-old minor, has not asked for past loss of earnings as a relief, and has already indicated that he was not employed in Form Interrogatory 2.6. To the extent there is a general damages claim concerning future earnings, those calculations will be extrapolated through means other than any information sought by Form Interrogatories 8.2 and 8.8.

If Defendant still has issues with the responses, parties are asked to further meet and confer. No sanctions.

2. After hearing, Defendant Smart and Final Stores, LLC’s motion to compel further discovery responses to Plaintiff’s special interrogatories, set one, is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. No sanctions.

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).)

The court finds that Plaintiff’s responses to Special Interrogatories Nos. 4, 19, 20, and 21 are not compliant. Plaintiff either responds to the special interrogatories with boilerplate objections or evasive responses. Contention interrogatories are standard practice in civil litigation, and thus, the Court disagrees with Plaintiff’s contention that these interrogatories are oppressive. However, the Court finds the responses to Nos. 23 and 26 are sufficient.

Plaintiff is ordered to provide supplemental responses to Special Interrogatories Nos. 4, 19, 20, and 21 within 10 days. At the hearing, Plaintiff did not provide sufficient reason as to why these supplemental responses should not be given. To the extent they are duplicative of other responses, Plaintiff should identify the previous response in the supplemental response. No sanctions.

3. After hearing, Defendant Smart and Final Stores, LLC’s motion to compel further discovery responses to Plaintiff’s requests for production of documents, set one is DENIED. No sanctions.

Section 2031.310 allows a party to file a motion compelling further answers to a demand for production of documents 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 § 2031.310(a)(2).)

The Court is in receipt of Plaintiffs’ supplemental responses to Defendant’s Request for Production of Documents and finds that the responses are in substantial compliance. Section 2031.210(a) only requires that the responding party respond with either (1) that the party will comply with the demand, (2) that the party lacks the ability to comply with the demand, or (3) an objection to the demand. (CCP § 2031.210(a).) Plaintiff responded that he will comply or lacks the ability to comply because the documents are not in his possession; these responses are sufficient under the Civil Discovery Act. It is uncertain as to what basis Defendant seeks further responses when Plaintiffs already provided responses with accompanying documents. Defendant failed to state what about these responses are incomplete to warrant further responses. Without such explanation, the Court is unable to grant Defendant’s motion.

If Defendant still has issues with the responses, parties are asked to further meet and confer. No sanctions.