Judge: Daniel S. Murphy, Case: 21STCV27665, Date: 2022-08-17 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 21STCV27665    Hearing Date: August 17, 2022    Dept: 32










  Case No.:  21STCV27665

  Hearing Date:  August 17, 2022


     [TENTATIVE] order RE:

plaintiff’s motions to compel responses to special and form interrogatories  



The issues concern the motions set for August 17, 2022 and the motions set for August 19, 2022 are virtually identical.  As such, the court will hear all for motions on August 17, 2022.


            On July 28, 2021, Plaintiff Northern California Collection Service, Inc. filed a complaint for open book monies due against Defendant Jaime Huete. This is a collections case where Defendant became indebted to the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) for unpaid insurance premiums. SCIF assigned the account to Plaintiff for collection purposes.

            On May 9, 2022, Plaintiff propounded supplemental sets of Special and Form Interrogatories to Defendant, who did not respond. On July 20 and 22, 2022, Plaintiff filed the instant four motions to compel responses to the following: (1) Form Interrogatories Set One (supplemental); (2) Form Interrogatories Set Two (supplemental); (3) Special Interrogatories Set One (supplemental); and (4) Special Interrogatories Set Two (supplemental).


“Within 30 days after service of interrogatories, the party to whom the interrogatories are propounded shall serve the original of the response to them on the propounding party, unless on motion of the propounding party the court has shortened the time for response, or unless on motion of the responding party the court has extended the time for response.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.260, subd. (a).) If a party fails to timely respond to interrogatories, the propounding party may move for an order compelling a response. (Id., § 2030.290, subd. (b).) The court shall impose a monetary sanction against the party or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel, unless there is substantial justification or the circumstances make the imposition of sanctions unjust. (Id., subd. (c).)


On August 8, 2022, defense counsel filed an opposing declaration averring that he never received the discovery. (Small Decl. ¶ 3.) It does not appear that there was an intentional attempt to evade discovery. Also because Defendant never received the interrogatories, he did not waive objections by failing to respond.


            Plaintiff’s motions to compel responses are GRANTED. Defendant is to produce responses to the subject discovery within 10 days. Objections are not waived. Sanctions are denied as the parties acted with substantial justification.