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    trosoft is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    In an unlawful detainer: How to respond to Demand for Production of Documents

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    1. In regards to the discovery process’ “met-and-confer” requirement (in the event of questions or problems with discovery compliance):

    (As the defendant in an unlawful detainer case, I am dealing with the plaintiff landlord’s attorney who routinely records all conversations “for quality control purposes".)

    Can I lawfully and diplomatically insist to this attorney that he NOT record, as I feel uncomfortable with that practice?

    2. If I can rightfully insist, then if he refuses to engage in an unrecorded telephonic “meet-and-confer” session, will that give him sufficient cause to proceed with motions to compel the production of documents and to compel responses to interrogatories?

    3. (Note that should he agree not to record the conversations, I would then request that he fax me a statement to that effect—before I actually proceeded with the telephonic “meet and confer”.)

    Would that be reasonable of me?

    That said… The rest of this pertains to the Propounding Party’s (plaintiff landlord) Demand for the Production of Documents, wherein he wants all Writings between me and any governmental regulatory agency. Also, he requests all payment receipts and correspondences relating to me and the Propounding Party.

    4. (I am currently acting in pro per.)

    Are the communications, documents and writings between me and the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) “privileged information for the purposes of compliance with the plaintiff attorney’s demand for the production of documents?”

    (Note: I do realize that, on the day of the trial, before the actual unlawful detainer trial the Judge will require that the plaintiff and I show each other our exhibits and evidence. I realize that I must comply with such an order at that point in time.)

    5. (I may be planning to serve a CIVIL SUBPOENA (DUCES TECUM) for Personal Appearance and Production of Documents and Things at Trial or Hearing AND DECLARATION on an LAHD Billing Unit supervisor.)

    In response to the Demand for the Production of Documents, am I obligated to provide the Propounding Party with a copy of the subpoena or otherwise specify what documents, if any, that I am requesting the LAHD employee to bring to court—in response to the Demand for the Production of Documents?

    6. Must I provide the contents of emails between me and my former attorney who represented me in unlawful detainer action?

    7. If the answer to number four is no then, concerning the above mentioned attorney-related emails, need I at identify each email message’s title, date and description of the subject matter as demanded by Propounding Party, and then claim “privileged information”?

    8. Must I provide Propounding Party with documents that he either already has or can—through due diligence—obtain them himself?

    From LAHD’s Custodian of Record Office (COR), I have requested and received many past due bills that the plaintiff landlord has yet to pay over the past few years.
    Also, the COR has sent me copies of letters that the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has sent to plaintiff landlord demanding payment of past due LAHD bills for rental unit registration. These were for regular registration fees, late fees and delinquent fees, representing several years. (The landlord currently owes several years worth of those registration fees, as it failed to register any rental units over a long period of time. Recently, LAHD began repeatedly billing landlord for those monies.)
    And, the LAHD COR has sent me several work-log files. In such files, both the LAHD Billing Unit and also its Investigations and Enforcement Unit record the various transactions, correspondences and other actions relating to the landlord.

    The landlord obvious has the same LAHD bills and letters from the City Attorney’s Office. Also, the Propounding Party could easily fill out an LAHD COR Request Form and obtain that same information anyway. )

    For example, I don't think that I should be required to provide my rent receipts from Propounding Party, my letters and emails to Propounding Party, my copies of LAHD bills and City Attorney's letters sent to Propounding Party.


    Attorney Work-product Privilege

    C.C.P. 2018.020

    l. Preserve privacy in trial prep so as to encourage
    a) thorough trial prep and
    b) investigation of both favorable and unfavorable aspects of case
    2.Prevent taking undue advantage of adversary's industry & efforts

    Dowden v. Superior Court
    (1999), 73 Cal.App.4th 126 [pro per may assert work product but matter discoverable from a represented party will be discoverable from the pro per]

    Last edited by trosoft; 09-01-2011 at 10:32 AM. Reason: Typo correction and additional content.

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