Judge: Daniel S. Murphy, Case: 21STLC03611, Date: 2023-02-22 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 21STLC03611    Hearing Date: February 22, 2023    Dept: 32









  Case No.:  21STLC03611

  Hearing Date:  February 22, 2023


     [TENTATIVE] order RE:

defendant and cross-complainant raul a. holguin, jr.’s motion to compel discovery




            On May 20, 2021, Plaintiff Dale Golden filed this action to quiet title as against Defendant Ruth Stanziola Holguin (Ruth Holguin) and any persons claiming interest in a parcel of real property located in Glendora, California. Plaintiff alleges that he is the sole owner of the property after Ruth Holguin agreed to convey it to him. On July 2, 2021, Ruth Holguin filed a cross-complaint against Plaintiff, alleging that Plaintiff utilized fraud and duress to effectuate the conveyance.

            On January 24, 2023, Defendant and Cross-Complainant Raul A. Holguin, Jr. (Hulguin Jr.), as successor co-trustee of the Holguin Family Trust, filed the instant motion to compel Plaintiff’s verifications to certain discovery responses. Plaintiff has not filed an opposition. Holguin Jr. acknowledges that Plaintiff served verifications after this motion was filed, but maintains the motion to recover sanctions. (Francisconi Reply Decl. ¶ 4.)




Discovery responses are due 30 days after service of the requests, unless the parties stipulate or the court orders otherwise. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.260(a), 2031.260(a), 2033.250(a).) If a responding party fails to respond in time, the propounding party may move for an order compelling the responses or deeming matters admitted. (Id., §§ 2030.290(b), 2031.300(b), 2033.280(b).) Unverified responses are tantamount to no response at all. (See Appleton v. Super. Ct. (1988) 206 Cal.App.3d 632, 636.)


            Plaintiff was required to verify his responses to the subject discovery because his responses contained more than objections. Plaintiff does not dispute his obligation to provide verified responses, nor does Plaintiff deny that he failed to provide verifications within 30 days or the time agreed to by the parties. No substantial justification is provided for Plaintiff’s failure to properly respond to discovery.

            Sanctions are warranted, but the amount requested is unreasonably high given the simplicity of the motion and lack of opposition. The reasonable amount is $960, representing 2 hours at $450 per hour, plus a $60 filing fee. (See Francisconi Decl. ¶ 8.)


            Defendant and Cross-Complainant Raul A. Holguin, Jr.’s motion to compel is GRANTED. Sanctions are awarded against Plaintiff and his counsel in the amount of $960, to be paid within 30 days.