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  1. #1
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Questions Regarding Discovery Methods & Cutoff Dates

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California (California case, not Federal)!!

    I am currntly going thru a civil trial in which the other party has served me wih Requests for Admission and Forms Interrogatories. Because they were mailed to me and not personally served, I have until July 27th to respond.

    I am trying to do this on my own without having to pay for assistance from the attorney that helps me, so I'm researching what I need to know in order to do that myself. So far so good.

    My questions are these:

    First, the Requests for Admissions state that "Plaintiff demands a written response 5 days from the date of service of this demand and the actual documents are to be produced no later than July 27, 2009.."

    The last time I checked, a Request for Admissions is NOT a Request for Production of Documents. One is utilized to get the other party to admit or deny a statement or fact in question or the genuineness of a specified document, the other is utilized to GET the specific document requested.

    The request I received IS NOT a Request for Production of Documents, and nowhere else on the document does it even mention that I must actually GIVE them documents, only admit or deny their existence.

    Can they, through the existing request, require me to comply with the demand for production of the documents (especially because they haven't even specified WHAT documents to produce)?

    Second question involves discovery cutoff dates. It has been over a month since our last hearing and the other party is just now getting around to beginning their discovery. I figured I'd wait to see when they started before serving my own discovery requests.

    The discovery cutoff says that discovery is completed on the date discovery is due. I know this limits further discovery on the OTHER side, but am I prevented from starting my own discovery request after that due date? Does their cutoff date apply to me as well? (I'm trying to figure out if I have to rush and finish my discovery requests over the weekend and get them all served on Monday as well.)

    Thanks in advance for your prompt responses, y'all.
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Discovery *cutoff* dates are set by court or statute and apply to both parties.

    While a request for admissions only requres an answer, I'm not sure you can't blend the two. It's certainly not right, but I don't know if it is prohibited. Since they'd have to meet and confer before trying to take you to court to compel, if that is the sum total of the request you could try not turning them over and see what they say in the conference.

    Still, don't play games as a rule. Few things are as clear as they seem. The rules are designed for two people to set the stage for a fact finder to determine what happened. When one tries to frustrate that, there's always another rule underneath to punish.
  3. #3
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
    Discovery *cutoff* dates are set by court or statute and apply to both parties.

    While a request for admissions only requres an answer, I'm not sure you can't blend the two. It's certainly not right, but I don't know if it is prohibited. Since they'd have to meet and confer before trying to take you to court to compel, if that is the sum total of the request you could try not turning them over and see what they say in the conference.

    Still, don't play games as a rule. Few things are as clear as they seem. The rules are designed for two people to set the stage for a fact finder to determine what happened. When one tries to frustrate that, there's always another rule underneath to punish.
    Thank you for your response. Let me make sure I understand.

    As far as discovery cutoff is concerned, are you saying that the due date of the discovery requests opposition submitted (Jul 27) is the last day I can serve my own discovery requests? I can see how it would end their own discovery, but that would also mean that the 5-day (or if mailed, 10-day) window is all that would be allowed for any and all discovery requests to be served & completed by either side. I want to make sure my interpretation is correct in that respect.

    Regarding the demand for documents mixed into the Request for Admissions, I suspect that this could just be a mistake because the Plaintiff's attorney appears to have used standard boilerplate in his preparation of the document.

    I do also realize that a Request for Production and Request for Admissions can certainly be combined, and often it is prudent to do so. However, given that the paragraph that I quoted is the only indication that any demand for documents is being made, and there is no section identifying or listing the specific documents to be produced anywhere in the papers, I suspect that they may be sticking that demand paragraph in there to see if I will comply and hoping that I don't notice that it's not done correctly.

    I am certainly not trying to play games, just making sure I'm following the rules myself when preparing my response. Hard to do when the opposition seems to be playing it fast & loose with those rules themselves.
  4. #4
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    The way you describe it, that does not seem a cutoff of discovery, but the time for you to respond. Different things. But, the court may have set some things so I won't commit to that without reading everything.
  5. #5
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Time to Respond vs. Discovery Cutoff

    Quote Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
    The way you describe it, that does not seem a cutoff of discovery, but the time for you to respond. Different things. But, the court may have set some things so I won't commit to that without reading everything.
    No, I'm clear on the time to respond (unlawful detainer cases here are 5 days, or 10 if mailed).

    My concern is whether or not I still have time to submit my own discovery to the other side after tomorrow (which is the last day to respond for me). I'm not sure on some of the discovery methods and want to get clear on them before I make one of them and look a fool because I did it wrong. Bottom line, I don't want to rush it through knowing I still have some time to get it right.

    My interpretation of the law is that THEIR discovery cutoff is tomorrow, i.e., the due date for MY response is the last day THEY can submit further dscovery requests to me. My question specifically is whether that is also MY cutoff, in that after tomorrow I can no longer make any further discovery requests. If it helps, there is not yet a trial date set.
  6. #6
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Discovery will be cut off by both parties at the same time. If you believe their discovery is done, you best consider yours as well.

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