Judge: Jill Feeney, Case: 21STCV17487, Date: 2022-08-03 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 21STCV17487    Hearing Date: August 3, 2022    Dept: 30

Department 30, Spring Street Courthouse
August 3, 2022
Motions to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production from Plaintiff Ricardo Olivas filed by Defendants Ford and Will Tiesiera Ford 


The three motions are granted.

Plaintiff Ricardo Olivas is ordered to provide verified responses without objections within 45 days after the date of this order.

Moving party is ordered to provide notice and to file proof of service of such notice within five court days after the date of this order. 


This action arises from a motor vehicle accident that occurred on January 9, 2020 that resulted in the death of Decedent Jeremy Richard Olivas (“Decedent”).   
On May 10, 2021, Plaintiffs Linda Marie Aversa, individually and as successor-in-interest to the Estate of Jeremy Richard Olivas and Ricardo Olivas (collectively “Plaintiffs”) filed a complaint against Defendants Ford Motor Company, Ltd; Will Tiesiera Ford, Inc.; and Kaj Wendall Faaborg for (1) strict product liability, (2) negligent product liability, and (3) motor vehicle negligence. 
On July 19, 2021, the Court found this case (21STCV17487) and 21STCV18090 were related. 
On July 7, 2022, Defendant Ford Motor Company filed its motions to compel Plaintiff’s initial responses to FROGs, SROGs, and RPDs. 


Moving Arguments

Ford states that it has not received any responses to discovery requests. Ford propounded its discovery requests on June 10, 2021. Responses were due on July 12, 2021. Originally, Plaintiff’s counsel repeatedly asked for extensions to August 11, 2021, September 10, 2021, October 11, 2021, December 13, 2021, December 27, 2021, January 24, 2022, and February 14, 2022. Ford granted all of Plaintiff’s extension requests. After Plaintiff’s counsel was relieved, Ford began discussing discovery with Plaintiff directly. Plaintiff requested an extension to May 9, 2022, which Ford granted. On June 6, 2022, after receiving no responses, Ford sent correspondence to Plaintiff outlining the status of discovery and offering one final extension to July 1, 2022. After receiving no response, Ford filed their motions to compel discovery responses. Ford does not request sanctions.

Opposing Arguments


Legal Standard

Compelling Responses to Interrogatories

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. section 2030.260, subd. (a).)

If a party to whom interrogatories are directed fails to serve a timely response, the propounding party may move for an order compelling responses and for a monetary sanction. (Code Civ. Proc section 2030.290, subd. (b).) The statute contains no time limit for a motion to compel where no responses have been served. All that needs be shown in the moving papers is that a set of interrogatories was properly served on the opposing party, that the time to respond has expired, and that no response of any kind has been served. (Leach v. Superior Court (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 902, 905-906.)

A party waives its objections to a discovery request when it does not serve a timely response to the request. (Code Civ. Proc. 2030.290(a)) Even if objections do not need to be verified, objections will be waived if the responding party “fails to file any response within the statutory time period.” Food 4 Less Supermarkets, Inc. v. Superior Court (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 651, 658.

Compelling Response to Demand for Production of Documents 
Where there has been no timely response to a demand for the production of documents, the demanding party may seek an order compelling a response. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2031.300, subd. (b).) Failure to timely respond waives all objections, including privilege and work product. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2031.300, subd. (a).) Thus, unless the party to whom the demand was directed obtains relief from waiver, he or she cannot raise objections to the documents demanded. There is no deadline for a motion to compel responses. Likewise, for failure to respond, the moving party need not attempt to resolve the matter outside court before filing the motion. 


Ford seeks to compel responses to (1) FROGs, (2)SROGs, and (3) RFPs. 

Here, Ford is entitled to orders compelling Plaintiff’s responses to FROGs, SROGs, and RFPs. Ford’s claims are supported by its counsel’s declaration. Plaintiff’s discovery responses were originally due on June 10, 2021. (Adams Decl., ¶2.) Plaintiff’s former counsel requested seven extensions to respond to Ford’s discovery requests from August 11, 2021 to February 14, 2022. After Plaintiff’s counsel was relieved, Ford granted three more extensions, most recently to July 1, 2022. After granting many extensions to Plaintiff’s counsel and to Plaintiff, Plaintiff failed to provide responses to Ford’s discovery requests. 

Accordingly, Ford’s motion is granted.